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Big Big Train - English Electric (Part Two) CD (album) cover

ENGLISH ELECTRIC (PART TWO)

Big Big Train

 

Crossover Prog

4.08 | 567 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Itīs very, very hard to write a review of an album I love so much. Try as I might to be objective - and find mistakes or something to rate it less - I still canīt find any other word to describe it. If The Underfall Yard was very good, and English Electric Part One was excellent, then English Electric Part Two is nothing short of a masterpiece. Really, I could never believe Big Big Train could outdo E E Part One, but they did. Here youīll find the band at its peak in terms of creativity, songwriting maturity and musical performances.

Some people here in PA will say it lacks something: weirdness, pointless jams, explicit displays of virtuosity, too few dissonant chords, you name it! And, boy , will I agree with that! But if you, like me, likes a first rate symphonic prog rock in the same vein of the 70īs great acts like Genesis, Yes and co, then youīll love this one. Like those groups this CD is the fruit of team work: no misplaced notes anywhere. Everything seems to fall in place seemlessly, one voice or instrument blending into the other fading ou appearing at the right moments as the music asks for. Bold, and yet tasteful arrangements, beautiful melodies, skillful playing and an energy and conviction rarely seen lately are their strong points. O should mention that David Longdon is becoming one of the best singers in the field, with a astonishing perfomance, both as vocalist and as multi intrumentist throughout the CD.

What strikes me the most is how their songwriting skills grew so much in such short time span. The CD opens with East Coast Racer, a 15 minute+ suite that shows all their potential right from the start, with its several swings and turns, changing moods and time signatures, a real prog heaven. Next comes the relatively simple Swan Hunter. Itīs one of the most beautiful and poignant songs Iīve heard in years, reminding me of masterpieces like Genesis Time Table or the Beatles For No One. Those two tracks alone were enough to garantee at least a 4 star rating for this CD, but, fortunatly, the remaining tracks are all of high quality, quite varied in terms of style, but all keeping the high profile till the very end. I could rave about each tune endlessly, but I think youīve got the point. Tunes like Keeper Of The Alley and The Permanent Way, for instance, are the kind of songs most prog acts would kill to have written them.

In a time where the ego trips seem to rule in prog, this is one of a hell of team work, when technique is used enhance the music not to show off. With a top notch production and a strong sense of direction, this is surely (along with Flamborough Headīs Lost In Time) the best release of 2013. Itīs so subtle some people wonīt notice how powerful it is until they listen carefully and without prejudice. Just like all the masterpieces are.

Rating: 5 stars with honors. Essential!

Tarcisio Moura | 5/5 |

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