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

ENGLISH ELECTRIC (PART TWO)

Big Big Train

 

Crossover Prog

4.13 | 498 ratings

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TrickedTail
5 stars Wow.

Downloaded today from Bandcamp for an unbelievable price. It cost me about $7 Australian, in the end. And I'll say this: It may well be the best $7 I'll spend this year. Just as an aside: I'll be in England in October/November...if anyone from the BBT management is reading this...I can think of no time finer for a tour...

But, seriously.

Big Big Train may very well be my current favourite band. Last year's album English Electric Part One, was an absolute phenomenon that got better with every listen. The songs were varied, unique and generally amazing. And Part Two follows that trend, and maintains a similar sound with a few differences.

Part One was very pastoral, very English as the title suggests, there was an abundance of woodwind, strings and choirs (or at least choral keyboard sounds). Part Two loses a bit of the woodwind and choirs although there is some flute present but tends to more heavily use the piano. There is also a wonderful brass section in one song, and of course, there is still LOTS of beautiful string arrangements. I love woodwind, and Part One had a very early-Genesis (maybe even Jethro Tull? Was never a big fan) feel to it. This perhaps come across as slightly more serious, which is perhaps fitting given, after the success of Part One, they are certainly a band that ought to be taken more seriously.

These changes do not effect the quality of the music, at all. There are still terrific moments of grandeur, particularly with the strings and guitar, and there are many very emotional moments with Longdon's beautiful singing and the heavy use of piano. I would have liked to heard a bit of Nick in vocals. Nick has a beautiful voice and would have complemented David's lead vocals very well.

One of my favourite moments was the reprise of Hedgerow (from Part One) in "The Permanent Way", the second last track on the album.

I hope this band, and fans of the band, realise just how lucky they are to have someone so talented as Nick D'Virgilio on drums. This man is insane in the best possible way. I was disappointed when he left Spock's, but now perhaps I can see where he was coming from. The entire lot of them are fantastic musicians, as one might hope from one of the best prog bands going around. The guest musicians employed on strings are, of course, magnificent too.

If you enjoyed Part One, you will enjoy Part Two. It does not disappoint.

TrickedTail | 5/5 |

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