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Big Big Train - Common Ground CD (album) cover

COMMON GROUND

Big Big Train

 

Crossover Prog

3.91 | 101 ratings

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alainPP
5 stars Big Big Train has been hanging out in the prog halls since 1991; I got to know them thanks to 'Bard' and this characteristic Génésisien sound, Roine Stolt, Spock's Beard, a voice à la Peter Gabriel, then various sounds making me switch to Xtc, to Sigur Ros for a time, especially from neo to the Marillion, Arena and Frost *, pop in the land of the Tears for Fears. Big Big Train represents above all the archetype of the English underground group fusing different sounds and appropriating them to produce a clean, inventive and captivating sound; there is emotion in this pastoral album where the rich and colorful notes correspond only to their creativity. He is in my opinion one of the representatives of the 3rd progressive wave, this over the 30 years of their career.

"The Strangest Times" on a piano ballad by Elton John for rhythm, Joe Jackson-style vocals, fresh, frenzied, enthusiastic and far from the sound of Big Big Train! Rock-pop with a superb solo evoking the ravages of pandemics. "All the Love We Can Give" with a much deeper voice flirting with Bowie; then it's Nick singing and it changes the intensity; Génésisien break of the most beautiful effect after an AOR escapade and the classics of the 80's, nervous riff, bass of Greg in front putting in combat order the synth which sounds Yes, Spock's Beard and Beardfish, varied tune a little disturbing and hilarious. '' Black with Ink '' and that Kim Wilde aria that jumps out at me, amalgamated with a Genesis 3rd version hit; it is the finally recognizable Gabrielesque voice that brings together, title on the destruction of books and water tinted in black; wisp break on the 70's-80's, Nick's drums stand out; finale on the Jacksonian voice, it must be said that they go all out on this track to sing; symphonic finale, I can hear a few notes from Angel's "honey heart captain" that is to say. "Dandelion Clock" for the 12 string acoustic ballad where I finally recognize the Big Big Train for the voice of David, the atmosphere, the lively rhythm, simple, borderline Irish with these pastoral sounds; and this is the end of the 1st part of the album.

'' Headwaters '' opens with an instrumental piano by Rikard which shows the extent of his talents, a transitional piece that will be reviewed on the last track of the album, in fact introductory to '' Apollo '' starting on their imprint, although Spock's Beard also invites it in my opinion; an instrument praising the mission success, jazzy piece at times with this lush synth, a more Genesisian variation on the Hammond organ, from the symphonic with divine flute, brass on all floors, yes you read that right, you'd think you could hear the Chicago; it's fresh, thunderous, rhythmic, dithyrambic, it goes all over the place and it's enjoyable on top of that, all connected by a high-quality guitar solo; a rather long pompous finale. "Common Ground" comes in for an upbeat health plea against the schizoid lockdown of our society; the typed voice gives a pop-folk air with violin associated with the angry guitar, a catchy track which passes quickly. "Atlantic Cable" and the why of the column! A quarter of an hour's centerpiece with a four-and-a-half-hour watery intro, a delicate piano-flute combination, musical sweetness and then a voice narrating the laying of a cable! The BBT is recognizable distilling a delicate fruity sound and not hesitating to go far into the prog metal lands; bass, drums and synth-organ giving the answer to the guitar; fast, furious, title of master Greg to drive the point home of progressive sound and its varied musical drawers; the finale returns to the piano from the serene and soft start. '' Endnotes '' title chained to end with a sentimental ballad of marked spleen filled with hope, bewitching voice, classical orchestral ensemble with horn and trumpet, melancholy violin, everything to help serenity.

Big Big Train has released a very nice album that shakes up prog codes a bit! Here you are taken on various tracks, on different styles, both with vocals and sounds and with the tunes. It actually oscillates between neo and English pastoral symphonic; you can meet Elton John, Les Yes, a touch of Toto, Xtc at times; a bit of Kate Bush, the Spock's Beards and the Beardfish in their early days; the heavy with a little Oceansize which makes a varied musical palette. A group that does not just copy itself, that opens up to musical creation, this is becoming rare, it is worth the trip.

alainPP | 5/5 |

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