Flaws (album)

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A girl is sitting side on with her face slightly tilted towards the camera.
Studio album by
Released9 July 2010 (2010-07-09)
RecordedFebruary 2009 - February 2010
The Church, Crouch End, London
GenreIndie folk[1]
ProducerNeil MacColl, Jack Steadman
Bombay Bicycle Club chronology
I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose
A Different Kind of Fix
Singles from Flaws
  1. "Ivy & Gold"/"Flaws"
    Released: 9 May 2010
  2. "Rinse Me Down"/"Dorcas"
    Released: 20 September 2010

Flaws is the second studio album by the British indie rock band Bombay Bicycle Club, released on 9 July 2010 by Island Records.[2] Unlike the band's previous releases, the album is entirely acoustic music, consisting of versions of their own tracks as well as cover versions of other artists. The album was produced in part by the guitarist Jamie MacColl's father, Neil MacColl, with recording taking place in February 2009 at The Church in Crouch End, London. The band started work on the album after completing their first album, I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose.


Initial talks about an acoustic release began in February 2009, with the band confirming through MySpace that they were recording an acoustic EP in the Lake District, while continuing to promote their first album.[3] Following the completion of their first album during the same month,[4] the band regrouped at The Church, a recording studio in Crouch End, London. The album was produced in part by Neil MacColl, guitarist MacColl's father. The rest of the album's production was completed by the vocalist Jack Steadman in his bedroom.[5] In an interview with the Daily Record on 6 February 2010, the band revealed that they had completed recording the album, with MacColl confirming "[it's] hopefully going to come out in May or June".[6]

The album was completed in entirely acoustic music. Tracks include reworked versions of some of the band's previous releases, alongside original tracks and cover versions of songs by other artists.[7] The track "Dust on the Ground" was previously recorded on the band's first album, I Had the Blues.., and was released as the album's lead single on 29 June 2009.[8] "Jewel" had also been previously released, as a B-side to the 2010 single "Evening/Morning".[9] "Fairytale Lullaby" is a cover of a song by the late John Martyn (then titled "Fairy Tale Lullaby"), from his first album London Conversation.[10] "Swansea", the final track on the album, is a reworked version of the Joanna Newsom track of the same name.[5]

Promotion and release[edit]

Two acoustic guitarists and one bass guitarist are performing a song live on a stage. The stage is lined with large white lights.
Bombay Bicycle Club performing acoustically during the NME Awards Tour, 9 February 2010.

On 2 June 2009, the band supported Starsailor at the Union Chapel in London, performing an acoustic concert in aid of the homelessness charity Crisis.[11] During the set, the band aired acoustic versions of "Flaws" and "Ivy & Gold".[12] Later in the same month, the band embarked on the "Tour For Lulu" throughout June and July 2009, performing four dates in the United Kingdom at locations chosen by fans. The tour was possible because the band had a number of days off in between recording.[13] One location on the tour was a beach hut in Hengistbury Head, with the band including a cover version of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart".[14] The album was confirmed for release on 12 July 2010 in the United Kingdom, on CD and vinyl.[15]

Flaws was preceded by a 7-inch vinyl of "Ivy & Gold" and title track "Flaws", released on 5 July 2010.[16][17] Zane Lowe named "Ivy & Gold" his "Hottest Record in the World" on 12 May 2010,[18] an acclaim given to "Jewel"[9] and ..Blues.. single "Magnet"[19] previously. "Ivy & Gold" was also A-listed in the BBC Radio 1 playlist.[20] As well as this, the band announced a seven date tour of the United Kingdom, with most performances taking place in churches. All dates were performed acoustically.[21] The band also confirmed through Twitter that a video was to be recorded for each track, with "Flaws",[22] "Ivy & Gold",[23] "Swansea"[24] and "Dust on the Ground"[25] in circulation before the album's release. A deluxe version of the album, released through the online retailer Play.com, includes a DVD containing the videos.[26]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3.5/5 stars[27]
BBC Music(favourable)[28]
Drowned In Sound(6/10)[29]
The Guardian3/5 stars[30]
Pitchfork Media(4.0/10)[32]
PopMatters6/10 stars[33]

Flaws received a mixed reception from critics. The review aggregator Metacritic gave the album a normalised rating of 63, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[34]

On 19 April 2011, it was announced that Flaws had been nominated for the 2011 Ivor Novello award for best album[35]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Jack Steadman, except where noted.

1."Rinse Me Down"3:10
2."Many Ways"2:44
3."Dust on the Ground"4:03
4."Ivy & Gold"2:56
5."Leaving Blues"2:56
6."Fairytale Lullaby" (cover of "Fairy Tale Lullaby"; John Martyn)2:20
7."Word by Word"2:38
9."My God"2:26
10."Flaws" (feat. Lucy Rose)2:57
11."Swansea" (Joanna Newsom cover; feat. Lucy Rose)4:14


  • Jack Steadman - lead vocals, guitar
  • Jamie MacColl - guitar
  • Ed Nash - bass guitar
  • Suren de Saram - drums
  • Lucy Rose - backing vocals

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2010) Peak
UK Albums Chart 8


  1. ^ "Bombay Bicycle Club". smh. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
  2. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/flaws/id375761644
  3. ^ "What the hell has Bombay Bicycle Club been up to?". Nu Rave Brain Wave. 5 February 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  4. ^ Gregory, Jason (11 May 2010). "Bombay Bicycle Club Announce Acoustic Album 'Flaws'". Gigwise.com. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Bombay Bicycle Club 'Flaws'". Mint magazine. 14 June 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  6. ^ Lyons, Bev (6 February 2010). "Exclusive: Thieves hit magazine's gig at Barrowlands". The Daily Record. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  7. ^ "Bombay Bicycle Club announce acoustic album title and tracklisting". NME. 11 May 2010. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  8. ^ "Bombay Bicycle Club - Single". Island Records. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  9. ^ a b Lowe, Zane (3 March 2010). "Hottest Record - Bombay Bicycle Club - Jewel". BBC Radio 1. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  10. ^ Gibsone, Harriet (10 June 2010). "Bombay Bicycle Club 'Flaws' // First Listen". The Fly. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  11. ^ "Starsailor set to play Crisis gig". South Wales Evening Post. 16 April 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  12. ^ Chang, Mary (7 June 2010). "In the Post #62: Bombay Bicycle Club". theregoesthefear.com. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  13. ^ "Bombay Bicycle Club Announce 'Tour For Lulu'". The Fly. 16 June 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  14. ^ Cutter, Allana (30 June 2009). "Bombay Bicycle Club review". Bournemouth Daily Echo. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  15. ^ "Bombay Bicycle Club Acoustic Album To Get Summer Release". Click Music. 26 April 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  16. ^ "Floorpaper: Bombay Bicycle Club : Flaws". floorpaper.com. 22 May 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
  17. ^ "Bombay Bicycle Club debut". redhotvelvet.co.uk. 14 June 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  18. ^ Lowe, Zane (12 May 2010). "Hottest Record - Bombay Bicycle Club - Ivy & Gold". BBC Radio 1. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  19. ^ Lowe, Zane (29 July 2009). "Hottest Record - Bombay Bicycle Club - Magnet". BBC Radio 1. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  20. ^ "The Flaws acoustic videos, new album Bombay Bicycle Club" (in Spanish). Away From Here. 25 June 2010. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
  21. ^ "Bombay Bicycle Club Acoustic Album & Tour". This Is Fake DIY. 28 April 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  22. ^ Slater, Luke (11 June 2010). "Watch: Bombay Bicycle Club - 'Flaws'". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
  23. ^ "Bombay Bicycle Club Ivy & Gold (Acoustic) Music Video". MUZU TV. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
  24. ^ "'Flawed' BBC head to Wales". The Sun. 23 June 2010. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
  25. ^ "Bombay Bicycle Club - Dust On The Ground". Watch Listen Tell (via YouTube). 16 July 2009. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
  26. ^ "Bombay Bicycle Club - Flaws (Deluxe CD & DVD Digipack)". Play.com. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
  27. ^ Deming, Mark. "Flaws - Bombay Bicycle Club". Allmusic. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
  28. ^ Lester, Paul (15 July 2010). "Review of Bombay Bicycle Club - Flaws". BBC Music (BBC Online). Retrieved 18 February 2011.
  29. ^ Welsh, April Clare (12 July 2010). "Bombay Bicycle Club - Flaws". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
  30. ^ Simpson, Dave (9 July 2010). "Bombay Bicycle Club: Flaws". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
  31. ^ Harris, Tessa (1 July 2010). "Album review: Bombay Bicycle Club - 'Flaws'". NME. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
  32. ^ Love, Joshua (20 July 2010). "Bombay Bicycle Club: Flaws". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
  33. ^ Feldman, Max (13 August 2010). "Bombay Bicycle Club: Flaws". PopMatters. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
  34. ^ "Flaws". Metacritic. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
  35. ^ "Ivor Novello Nominations".