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Ezra - Big Smiley Sun CD (album) cover





3.27 | 24 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars Is this supposed to be a Prog version of Soundgarden's Black Hole Sun?

Big Smiley Sun was Ezra's second album, released in 1999. The style of music found here is very different compared to the debut album, Shapes, and closer to the third Ezra album, Songs From Pennsylvania. The latter album as well as the present one bears no relation whatsoever to British Neo-Prog or indeed any strong relation to Prog of any sort. This music has more to do with the Grunge scene and Alternative Rock; it comes across as somehow American and definitely so very 90's. It is pretty clear that Ezra wanted to sound contemporary here, but now, more than a decade later, this sounds dated to my ears, more so than most music from the 70's and 80's. The It Bites influences found on the debut album were all gone at this point, here they instead sound a bit like Soundgarden! Maybe Big Smiley Sun can be seen as a more cheerful version of that band's hit song Black Hole Sun?

There are some discrete keyboards in the background on many songs and a Didgeridoo on one track(!), but apart from that this is pretty straightforward guitar Rock. Despite the fact that some songs are quite long there is a distinct lack of interesting arrangements or complex parts. This music is not really my cup of tea. Even so, I must say that I enjoy this slightly more than Songs From Pennsylvania. I would, however, not recommend this to Prog fans in general.

If you are interested in Ezra, the Shapes album is all you need. Only those with some special interest in the band need to go beyond that.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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