Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Balance, Not Symmetry album review


Guys, it finally happened! Biffy Clyro dropped Balance, Not Symmetry, their eagerly-awaited soundtrack/concept album for the upcoming film of the same name. Now, to tell you that I was excited for this album is a massive understatement. Seriously, huge. I’ve been waiting for this since Biffy debuted Different Kind of Love at the Roundhouse in November 2017, and once I'd heard Adored at the Royal Albert Hall in September 2018 I was like a kid (or myself) getting excited for Christmas if I had no idea when Christmas was. The waiting, the mounting excitement, the not knowing when it’s actually coming out, and then, finally, it drops. As I said excited is an understatement. Anywho, since it’s release, I’ve played the album non-stop, so it only seems fitting for me to dedicate a post to share my thoughts.

First of all, to absolutely no one’s surprise, least of all mine, I adore it. Though not technically a ‘proper’ Biffy album, B, NS is a delicious follow up to 2016’s Ellipsis and slots in nicely with the other albums thanks to it's key themes: love, loss, heartbreak and grief, which are common across the Biff’s entire back catalogue. However, there is so much life and happiness and joy present on this album that just isn't on the band's previous offerings. Let's face it Biffy love to worship their pain, and I am more than happy to do it with them, but there's a wide-eyed innocence here that I've not come across before.

Packed full of bangers, interspersed with moody and atmospheric instrumental pieces and gentle, earnest love songs B, NS is the culmination of an incredibly diverse and successful career. Its titular track is a throwback to a younger, angrier Biffy, and wouldn’t be out of place on Puzzle or Infinity Land, with its thrashing guitars, raw screaming, disjointed vocals and anthemic chorus. It sets the tone for the entire album and is fucking brilliant! Next comes All Singing All Dancing and Sunrise - two of my favourites -  a tribute to the bands later work with their pop-rock vibes and irresistible choruses. Tearjerkers Different Kind of Love, Colour Wheel and Adored are Biffy ballads at their finest - tender, raw, heartbreakingly earnest and sincere, they are tales of yearning and of love. These tracks are the ones I hold closest to my heart. Plead and The Naturals are also favourites, showcasing another phase in Biffy's history, while Jasabiab has a late Beatles almost Yellow Submarine-y kind of vibe to it which I wasn't fully expecting.

Overall, B, NS is a work of art. Now admittedly, I’m incredibly biased, Biffy are my favourite band in the entire world, so I was always going to like this album. I don’t think it’s possible for them to make music I wouldn’t like. But that, I think, is the incredible thing about art, you like the things you connect with, that you recognise yourself in and it makes you feel less alone. That’s why I love Biffy Clyro so  much, their music, including this album, reasonates with me in a way that nothing else has. It's magic I can't and don't want to explain. 

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