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Big Big Train - The Second Brightest Star CD (album) cover


Big Big Train


Crossover Prog

3.75 | 263 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars 'The Second Brightest Star' may not be the 'best' Big Big Train album, but it is certainly among my favorites. (Well no album I know can top English Electric Full Power in my opinion) Where BBT really excels, at least for me personally, is in their pastoral side, when they are at their most beautiful, and this is even more acoustic than 'Gathering Speed', another one of my favorites. There are 2 really nice new tracks here, namely, 'Skylon', and 'The Leaden Stour', which has a very beautiful, melancholy type of melody, especially during the instrumental break. This passage is so powerfully beautiful that leaves me a bit awed that they seem to be playing the music of my heart, something they've somehow been able to manage, particularly Greg Spawton's music. I tend to like many different things musically, especially complex out-there stuff, which this is really not. But it stirs up deeper emotions within me that I almost forgot I had, and relate to very personally. The instrumentals here, by the way, are also wonderful, of which I'm delighted that there are several. 'Haymaking' is a fun piece that calls to mind, as Rachel Hall, the composer of this one describes as riding through the countryside during haymaking season. Aptly put. 'London Stone' is a beautiful acoustic-based instrumental written by Richard and Danny, and 'Terra Australis Incognita' is a moody, contemplative track, sounding very outdoorsy and fall-like. 'Turner on the Thames' is the instrumental intro to 'London Plane', and here they are joined in their entirety. This pastoral gem is probably my favorite of the instrumentals. Also here are the joining of two of my recent favorites, 'On The Racing Line' and 'Brooklands'. Musically, everything about this album, the playing, the arrangement, the production, and the vocals, are absolutely perfect. And yes, those vocals! David Longdon has one of the richest, most beautiful voice I have ever heard, and I'm stating this with as much objectivity as possible. But it's admittedly difficult to be completely objective about something this moving. So, I'm reviewing this album, not for the sake of reviewing critically, but singling it out specifically because it is simply one of the most beautiful collections of music that I have heard of late. I hope for more like this.
cirrusbay | 4/5 |


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