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


Big Big Train


Crossover Prog

4.21 | 1097 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Sometimes you really strike gold at PA! I discovered this band through this site and I must say Iīm quite impressed. Well, the much praised The Underfall yard did not exactly won me over. it was clear that the band was good, but there was something missing yet at that point. Actually the CD sounded a little overworked too. But when I heard the following EP Far Skies Deep Time, I knew they had nailed it! It was the perfect combination of great songwriting, perfect arrangements and excellent songwriting, coupled with outstanding performances. That did the trick. So I was quite anxious to hear what would come next.

English Electric (Part One) is basicly everything I had hoped for: great symphonic prog rock which mixes very well simple, nice melodies with complex arrangements and inspired performances of all involved. The comparisons with Gabriel-era Genesis are not a coincidence. Not only is this band highly influenced by that band, but they also found the right formula that made Genesis the classic band they were (all the elements mentioned before). Still, Big Big Train does not copy Genesis, that of the same matter dutch band Odyssice captured so well 70īs Camel spirit without really sounding like a cover band. Thatīs the difference: BBT (and Odyssice) produce a familiar style of music, but they do too have a personality of their own all along. Thatīs very rare.

Of course the album would have never worked if they hadnīt have the excellent songwriting hability to match their obvious terrific technique. There are absolute no fillers, with all the tunes being very well done both in terms of writing and, specially, of performances. Itīs so hard to see an album where every instrument, every voice, every note fits in so smoothly (another Genesis trait during their heydey). There are no fillers nor highlights, all the tracks do stand on their own, although the opener The First Rarebreather may be a personal favorite. Certainly BBT finally reached a maturity rarely seen nowadays. Since singer and multi intrumentist David Longdon joined the fold they have been getting better and better with each release. And his flute playing is certainly one of the most interesting features of this record

Ok, some people will cringe upon hearing this CD, claiming the music has nothing original (meaning zanny), that they play too "safe" (nothing to shock you) and break no new ground (even at the expense of the music itself). I wll disagree, since they are quite original on their own way. Itīs quite accessible, I admit it, but still it takes several spins to fully grasp its full richness. And the music is beautiful, skillfully played and imaginatively arranged. To me this is good enough. Wrap it up with an excellent production work and youīll have one of the most stunning works Iīve heard in a long, long time.

Iīm really anxious to get English Electric (Part Two).

Rating: 4,5 stars. Highly recommended!!

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |


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