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A Big Goodbye - Sounds & Silences CD (album) cover


A Big Goodbye


Heavy Prog

3.63 | 78 ratings

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3 stars A very good debut by A Big Goodbye!

They are a new and independent US band which last year (2011) entered to the progressive rock realm with their debut album entitled "Sounds & Silences". This album features seven compositions that make a total time of 48 minutes, in which we will listen to a fresh offering that shows an excellent example of heavy prog the most of the time, though in moments the music is lighter and mellow.

It opens with "Thinking Out Loud" whose first moments have a delicate acoustic guitar accompanied by nice vocals. Later it changes and creates a sound that exemplifies the heavy prog category, with brief metal tendencies, but without being a metal band at all. Then the song flows and is developing a particular sound, with several changes that put dynamism on it, sometimes it is heavier and more complex, sometimes softer and even catchy. This is a very good opener track.

"Solitude" starts with acoustic guitar but seconds later the electric joins and along with keyboards produce a powerful beginning. The music seems to have some kind of mid east flavor, with a sitar-like sound, but later, it surprisingly changes and produces a much catchier tune in the chorus, with a neo-prog feeling. What I like of this track is that A Big Goodbye manages to morph without losing track, I mean, there aren't fractured moments, the composition is well-crafted from start to end.

"The Great Divide" is one of the two epics of this album, this one with a nine-minute length. Acoustic guitar at the beginning, a soft sound with nice bass lines and constant drums, later joined by a delicate voice. To be honest the name of Opeth came to my mind in this beginning, as the name of Porcupine Tree in the previous track, maybe those bands have influenced A Big Goodbye in a way. Returning to the song, it continues with the same mellow sound for some minutes, progressing little by little until after four minutes they bring us a very cool and intense instrumental passage that shows again why they are labeled under the Heavy Prog genre. Here we can also appreciate their skills as performers, the drums are heavy and fast, the guitar making nice figures and carrying the rhythm, while the bass produces nice lines. A new and drastic change comes after six minutes in which percussion enter along with acoustic guitar, making a very soft sound. When I thought they had nothing new to add, they surprised me with the introduction of a saxophone.

And this saxophone now continues and opens the next track entitled "February Girl" whose first minute is a ballad-like, which later vanishes and turns into an alternative rock song that in spite of the heavy and prog touches, it does not pass that barrier of a radio single tune with a catchy sound. "The Door" starts as usual with acoustic guitar (after five tracks, I would suggest the band to change a little bit the first seconds of their songs, if they don't want to sound repetitive) and later the music flows, creating again a catchy melody and a friendly tune. Honestly, these two tracks are the weakest moments of the album.

"In My Dreams" is a more interesting track with powerful, energy and intensity that makes the listener feeling part of it. The sound here is heavier and emotional, with excellent guitar work that offers a good solo after three minutes. The album finishes with "Memories" which is the longest composition with more of 14 minutes of great music. This might be their most accomplished work, with great lyrics, wonderful structures that let us know their compositional talent. The acoustic guitar is a crucial element here, and they return with a saxophone that adds cadency, deliciousness to the already good sound. Here they remembered that keyboards can do a lot of things, and I believe here they exploded and took advantage of them, creating great nuances and atmospheres that I did not appreciate in previous tracks. Well, being a long song it is evident that here you will find changes in mood and rhythm, most of them are pretty cool.

A strong debut from A Big Goodbye, I liked it though I must admit I am not crazy for it, mostly because two or three tracks that did not caught my attention, and for some catchy moments, however, the band is very talented and know how to make good melodies and complex compositions, just like the last one. Now I am looking forward to their next release. Meanwhile, my final grade will be three stars.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 3/5 |


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