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

ENGLISH ELECTRIC (PART TWO)

Big Big Train

 

Crossover Prog

4.10 | 540 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

fusaka
4 stars Big Big Train have accomplished a lot since I first encountered them back in the 90's, with a first album that I found a bit unremarkable back then, and it's safe to say to they're now one of the most interesting band to come out of England in a while. Reading up on the band, I notice that they're often compared to Genesis, and while it's true that there are some similarities to their mid-70's period (mainly the "First Rebreather" theme, which appears on this album also), I'd say they share more of a "philosophical" connection, with BBT's main themes centered around a "lost England", which was also a preoccupation of Gabriel & co.

Compared to Part One, there is nothing here as jubilant as "The First Rebreather" or "Judas Unrepentant", and it's probably a darker album, but you sense that this is very much a companion piece, and not a collection of rejects that didn't deserve to be on the main album. Big Big Train's music is not very complex, but their sound palette is very rich, with violin, flute, brass, accordion and even sitar, to complement the classic instruments - the band even use one of the best song on the album, "Keeper of Abbeys", as a showcase for all of them. Highlights include East Coast Racer, a very moody 15-minute epic, and The Permanent Way, with it's great ending. With what now appears to be a stable lineup, the band is very tight and sounds like a well-oiled unit. I always liked Nick D'Virgilio's playing with Spock's Beard and it's a delight to find him here. A great drummer who keeps the whole band well grounded with his precise playing.

fusaka | 4/5 |

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