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

ENGLISH ELECTRIC (PART ONE)

Big Big Train

 

Crossover Prog

4.19 | 739 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Gandalff
3 stars BIG BIG TRAIN: English Electric (Part One) 4/5

Line up:

- Andy Poole / bass, keyboards - Greg Spawton / guitars, keyboards, bass - David Longdon / vocals, flute, glockenspiel - Nick D'Virgilio / drums

Additional musicians:

- Rob Aubrey / mixing, mastering - Ken Brake / string section, double bass - Edo Spanninga / recorder

To be honest, the British band Big Big Train has always seemed to me as one of the most boring, most melancholic and weepiest Prog bands ever. For this reason, under the protection of my mental health, their discography is hidden somewhere at the bottom of a drawer, gathering dust on it...

Some improvement can be traced to the penultimate album "The Underfall Yard" (2009), and therefore, even under the influence of very positive reviews on this site, I bought their latest achievement, "English Electric (Part One)." And I can say, the surprise of listening to this album is just nice and pleasant ...

First of all: melancholy and sentiment receded here into the background, no one can find a long, uselessly protracted and boring Epic, all the songs fit under 10 minutes. Even it's possible to find some optimistic and perhaps even cheerful songs, which is hardly conceivable on previous BBT albums.

Dear friends, if you own a small home altar with the image of Gabriel's Genesis and every day you use to pray for their comeback, then I suggest you to purchase this new Big Big Train album. Because partial reincarnation of good old Genesis had just born!

What is actually common to both bands?

1) Vocals: Longdon has a similar timbre as Peter Gabriel, but without his characteristic "braying" in heights. Great harmonic vocals, also reminding of Genesis.

2) Keyboards: Analogous melodic and harmonic lines with Tony Banks, using of the same instruments, including Mellotron.

3) Bass Guitar: Conformable technique with Mike Rutherford, similar rhythmic and melodic techniques.

4) Drums: Both drummers are surely excellent and their playing is flawless and colourful.

5) Frequent use of the flute as a beautiful melodic instrument.

6) General harmonic and melodic practices are very similar to both bands, some songs directly evoke the famous songs of old Genesis, without their mere plagiarism.

7) Their proclaimed British national pride and traditionalism.

Only guitar playing is somewhat different, as I can judge. Steve Hackett is, after all, only one and difficult to reproduce.

Almost all the songs are pleasant, melodic and worthy of 5 stars. Most brilliant moments are undoubtedly "Winchester From St Giles' Hill", "Judas Unrepentant" and "Summoned By Bells". Only the last two songs "A Boy in Darkness" and "Hedgerow" seem to be a kind of appendix and somewhat remind for its circumlocution a former BBT era.

Thus I give this album 4.25 stars rounded to 4. Now, therefore, let's wait for English Electric (Part Two)!

Gandalff | 3/5 |

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