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Thread: Big Big Train - New album Grand Tour announced May 17th

  1. #26
    Member Kcrimso's Avatar
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    And, yep... "hedgerows" still get a mention in the very last song.
    Thank god! I was little bit worried...
    "A waste of talent and electricity." John Peel on ELP

  2. #27
    I haven't moved from the package to the music yet! They do certainly produce a quality product for our money, I enjoy the detail and the information, and will digest this and then put the cans on for a deep dive!

    Mr Longdon is singing a little with Magenta at their sold out 20th anniversary celebration show tomorrow, I foolishly didn't get a ticket as didn't think I could make it, but plans have changed and I'm frantically searching, and hope to be there now.

  3. #28
    I've given it a good number of spins. As of now, I feel it's their best since EEII. Their are some really good moments - opening track is solid, the second half of The Florentine is really good, Ariel is my favorite track - almost the entire song is great, and Voyager has some much desired proggy moments.

    The bad:
    -I feel like they always have a super cheesy upbeat track like Alive on each album. I have sort of learned to just expect and ignore them.
    -The Florentine - lyrically quite trite. It's very similar lyrically to Unitopia's Tesla but doesn't work as well. Each song is mostly random references to their respective work. I think they could have gotten really creative, but instead it's pretty blunt and over the head.
    -Theodora in Green an Gold - this is almost a really good, solid track - except they threw in that brief key change during the chorus. It makes zero sense why they did it and it's driving me nuts. I've replayed it on the piano and sung it without the key change, and it sounds wonderful. Not only does it do nothing to improve the track, but it makes it almost un-listenable.
    -Ariel - my favorite track, and the one that will probably stay on my playlists into the distant future. But it has some frustrating moments. The ra ra "Come, nimbus; come stratus..." segment is cheesy. And lyrically their are a few other hackneyed moments that take me out of the moment; e.g., "Prometheus's fire" (sung slowly over about ten seconds).


    I think the whole biographical shtick just wore thin long ago, but I'll always be a fan of the band and their musicianship. They still have more enjoyable moments than not, so I'm thankful for that.

  4. #29
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasKDye View Post
    And, yep... "hedgerows" still get a mention in the very last song.
    Don't be alarmed now.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  5. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasKDye View Post
    So, giving this a listen now. It's definitely doing some different things, though the Spawton compositions are still quintessentially Spawton compositions. I didn't even know who wrote what when I first started listening, and I immediately identified his style in "Roman Stone." And I checked Wikipedia and, yup, that's his.

    I think BBT fans will find many familiar elements...long, pastoral musical stretches with Longdon singing breathily and slowly over them... strings... and horns. New elements include some different synth sounds, and the added element of NDV's songwriting style.

    And, yep... "hedgerows" still get a mention in the very last song.

    When I saw the song titles before the album was released, I tried to guess who had written what. Knowing that Spawton had a degree in archaeology, I was certain 'Roman Stone' was his and so it was!

    Talking of degrees, the notes, in some cases mini-essays, that provide background on the songs, surely take BBT a step further than the A Level rock that The Enid were once said to represent - this is postgrad. rock!

  6. #31
    Member lazland's Avatar
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    First spin tonight, and the initial impression is that this is a fine album, certainly the best since EEI. Lots to admire, especially Ariel which could become a classic to these ears.

  7. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Master View Post
    I've given it a good number of spins. As of now, I feel it's their best since EEII. Their are some really good moments - opening track is solid, the second half of The Florentine is really good, Ariel is my favorite track - almost the entire song is great, and Voyager has some much desired proggy moments.

    The bad:
    -I feel like they always have a super cheesy upbeat track like Alive on each album. I have sort of learned to just expect and ignore them.
    -The Florentine - lyrically quite trite. It's very similar lyrically to Unitopia's Tesla but doesn't work as well. Each song is mostly random references to their respective work. I think they could have gotten really creative, but instead it's pretty blunt and over the head.
    -Theodora in Green an Gold - this is almost a really good, solid track - except they threw in that brief key change during the chorus. It makes zero sense why they did it and it's driving me nuts. I've replayed it on the piano and sung it without the key change, and it sounds wonderful. Not only does it do nothing to improve the track, but it makes it almost un-listenable.
    -Ariel - my favorite track, and the one that will probably stay on my playlists into the distant future. But it has some frustrating moments. The ra ra "Come, nimbus; come stratus..." segment is cheesy. And lyrically their are a few other hackneyed moments that take me out of the moment; e.g., "Prometheus's fire" (sung slowly over about ten seconds).


    I think the whole biographical shtick just wore thin long ago, but I'll always be a fan of the band and their musicianship. They still have more enjoyable moments than not, so I'm thankful for that.
    “Alive” is one of my favorite tracks. Upbeat? Sure. Cheesy? Nah. I wish they’d do more stuff like this. It has energy.

    Also have no problem with the key change in “Theodora”. It certainly didn’t sound borderline unlistenable to me.

    So far I’m really happy with this one. I like it more than the last couple records.

  8. #33
    Member rickawakeman's Avatar
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    Ordered this and the recent live from Ken today!

  9. #34
    Progdog ThomasKDye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aith01 View Post
    “Alive” is one of my favorite tracks. Upbeat? Sure. Cheesy? Nah. I wish they’d do more stuff like this. It has energy.
    I agree with this 10000000%. When I heard this, it just elevated my mood intensely. I also love the synth and guitar sounds in it, and the tuned percussion break as well.
    "Arf." -- Frank Zappa, "Beauty Knows No Pain" (live version)

  10. #35
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    “Alive” evokes my own feelings of freedom and unlimited potential from 50 years ago, when I began to understand that the future was mine to make and the world was mine to explore. For a song to find a long-buried place in my heart like that and make me feel it again is a singular accomplishment. And those are exactly the right feelings to take into the rest of the album, including — especially — the perspective (sometimes naive, sometimes arrogant) of youth. It’s what “Grand Tour” is about.

    I like this song much better than “Make Some Noise,” which I imagine is the other cheesy uptempo anthem being referred to above.

  11. #36
    Member Guitarplyrjvb's Avatar
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    My favorite is still The Underfall Yard. The new one seems kind of bland and mid tempo, albeit well performed and engineered. They are putting out a lot of music, but to me, it's tough to distinguish one release from another.

  12. #37
    Member lazland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasKDye View Post
    I agree with this 10000000%. When I heard this, it just elevated my mood intensely. I also love the synth and guitar sounds in it, and the tuned percussion break as well.
    Make that another in agreement. Wonderfully upbeat song, the sort that makes you feel pretty good.

  13. #38
    This is all that goes through my head with "Alive."

  14. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Master View Post
    This is all that goes through my head with "Alive."
    Why is Zac Efron going through your head?

  15. #40
    A track named Make Some Noise needs to make some noise (or be close to quiet ...), IMO.

  16. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Drake View Post
    A track named Make Some Noise needs to make some noise (or be close to quiet ...), IMO.
    Why not both?

  17. #42
    A couple of months ago Greg Spawton did an interview with the magazine produced by his old school. He talked about ....... how his brother got him into Genesis, his unfashionably long hair, his love of history and archaeology, what a hard slog its all been, how he writes songs, lots of stuff. It's on their Facebook page.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Master View Post
    This is all that goes through my head with "Alive."
    Worrisome.
    Prog's Not Dead

  19. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by miamiscot View Post
    Worrisome.
    Indeed. There may be bigger concerns than whether that key change in "Theodora in Green and Gold" should be there.

  20. #45
    Listened to this one again at work today, all the way through. I think it’s their best in quite a few years. Ariel is just flat out beautiful.

  21. #46
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    First couple of spins were nice, but didn't 'wow' me the way the last few have. But it is now starting to really open up and reveal itself to me. Great stuff chaps!

    BTW, I don't know if this was posted yet, but a terrific and long, in depth interview about the new album:

    Two boys have been found rubbing linseed oil into the school cormorant.

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progatron View Post
    First couple of spins were nice, but didn't 'wow' me the way the last few have. But it is now starting to really open up and reveal itself to me.
    Same experience here!
    Not just a Genesis fanboy.

  23. #48
    Member bill g's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Master View Post

    The bad:

    -Theodora in Green an Gold - this is almost a really good, solid track - except they threw in that brief key change during the chorus. It makes zero sense why they did it and it's driving me nuts. I've replayed it on the piano and sung it without the key change, and it sounds wonderful. Not only does it do nothing to improve the track, but it makes it almost un-listenable.
    My cd is on the way, should arrive any day now. But I have to say, I did listen to Theodora, as it is available to listen to, and wasn't really feel it, EXCEPT for the nice change in the middle. It made the song for me, so go figure. But then I always like weird key changes.

    Some of the other clips of other songs I really really liked. Can't wait!!

  24. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by bill g View Post
    My cd is on the way, should arrive any day now. But I have to say, I did listen to Theodora, as it is available to listen to, and wasn't really feel it, EXCEPT for the nice change in the middle. It made the song for me, so go figure. But then I always like weird key changes.
    Same here, regarding the key changes.

    Theodora has grown on me after a few listens, and now I like the beginning part a lot too.

  25. #50
    Member bill g's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aith01 View Post
    Same here, regarding the key changes.

    Theodora has grown on me after a few listens, and now I like the beginning part a lot too.
    Cool! On one listen, all the other tracks jumped out at me more, but I can seldom assess fairly after just one listen.

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