Busted’s third studio album, Night Driver, has been in my CD player for a solid month, I can’t stop listening to it. I don’t think I’ve listened to an album this incessantly since Lorde released Pure Heroine.
This is surprising mainly because when Busted split up 10 years ago I never expected them to get back together even for a reunion tour, never mind make new music together again. Yet here we are. With new facial hair, a new colour scheme and less problematic lyrics, Charlie, James and Matt are back together and quite frankly, killing it.
From the first opening electronic notes of Coming Home, it is obvious that this album is of a changed Busted. Featuring solo vocals from all three boys, it’s hard not to think that the first track is a re-introduction to the band. With an 80’s vibe, the whole album is a more mature sound. It’s not difficult to spot influences of James’s electronic heavy solo project FutureBoy, or Charlie’s other band Fightstar, not to mention the fact all of them have that much more experience in the music industry now and a better mastery of their instruments.
As Night Driver, the title track, blasts through speakers I find it impossible not to dance and sing along with it. Something in the way the beat builds grabs you and won’t let go. As the album plays though the songs fade into one another, taking you from dancing, to upbeat heart break, to sing-at-the-top-of-your-lungs belters.
Not only that, but there’s so much joy in this album. There’s no other way to describe it. It features its fair share of break up songs, but none of them will want you to curl up on the floor crying. Instead they’re a wonderfully real picture of moving on, or looking back on memories with fondness not bitterness. And they do it all with a funky beat. I don’t want to project too much yet I can’t help feeling a lot of the tone comes from a change in attitude to the Busted of the early 2000’s and their split.
Some things remain the same though. Charlie’s nasally tones still dominate a lot of the songs, Matt is still providing pitch perfect harmonies and James still rocks out on his guitar. This is still Busted after all. Much like the teenagers that loved them, Busted didn’t didn’t go anywhere, they just grew up.
There’s not many band reunions that are worth waiting 10 years for. But I think this was one of them.