BIG BIG TRAIN

(UNITED KINGDOM)

FOLKLORE

(2016)
LABEL:

AUTRE LABEL

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE ROCK

TAGS:
Fusion, Symphonic
"If you're a fan of symphonic progressive rock, look no further: you will find in Folklore what you're looking for."
CORTO1809 (22.06.2016)  
4/5
(0) opinions (1) comment(s)
We promised you: just a few weeks after the release of "Stone & Steel", a live testimony on Blu-ray and CD of their rehearsals in Peter Gabriel's studios in 2014, Big Big Train comes back with a brand new studio album, "Folklore". This record is the band's ninth album, with a very stable line-up since 2009 and "The Underfall Yard". Not only do the incumbents not desert the band, but its line-up is gradually growing with more members who are moving up to permanent status. After the incorporation of Danny Manners on the diptych "English Electric", it's the turn of Rachel Hall (violin), who was also present on "English Electric" 1 and 2, and Rikard Sjöblom, Beardfish's eccentric singer and keyboardist, to join Big Big Train, bringing the number of musicians to eight.

An impressive line-up then, all the more impressive since most of the protagonists are multi-instrumentalist and they are reinforced by a string section and a brass quintet. This is what gives body to the style of which Big Big Train has become over the years one of the most credible representatives. If you're a fan of symphonic progressive rock, look no further: you've found what you're looking for.

Because Big Big Train once again demonstrates his immeasurable talent in an impeccable demonstration of what progressive rock is all about. It's all there: changes of themes, tempos, nuances, odd rhythms, alternating tutti, duets, solos, vocal and instrumental passages, a mix of electric (including the inevitable Hammond organ) and acoustic instruments, references to classical, world music, Celtic folklore, jazz... "progressive rock for dummies" declined in a little hour that you don't see going by, without weak moments, from the tribal folks of 'Folklore' and 'Waissail' to the two long archetypal suites 'London Plane' and 'Brooklands' with the unifying red thread ('I'm a Lucky Man'), passing by the energetic 'Winkie' or the short but catchy 'Salisbury Giant'.

If one had to express a reservation, the main criticism would be a slight lack of empathy: everything is very beautiful, very pleasant, but lacks a bit of soul, perhaps due to David Longdon's singing, which is certainly fair and solid but never poignant. On the other hand, the album doesn't bring any real surprise, Big Big Train continuing to do (very well) Big Big Train. However, this is not enough to spoil the pleasure of listening to sumptuous melodies with rich arrangements and played by accomplished musicians.

"Folklore" asserts itself as a worthy successor to the equally varied, symphonic and captivating "English Electric". And as with any good progressive record, each new listening allows you to discover details that have gone unnoticed until now and to generate a growing pleasure.
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. Folklore (07:33)
02. London Plane (10:13)
03. Along the Ridgeway (06:12)
04. Salisbury Giant (03:37)
05. The Transit of Venus Across the Sun (07:20)
06. Wassail (06:57)
07. Winkie (08:25)
08. Brooklands (12:44)
09. Telling the Bees (06:02)

LINEUP:
Andy Poole: Claviers / Guitare Acoustique / Mandoline / Choeurs
Danny Manners: Claviers / Contrebasse
Dave Gregory : Guitares
David Longdon: Chant / Flûte / Guitare Acoustique / Mandoline / Percussions / Choeurs
Greg Spawton: Basse / Bass Pedals / Guitare Acoustique / Choeurs
Nick D’Virgilio: Batterie / Percussions / Choeurs
Rachel Hall: Violon / Alto / Violoncelle / Choeurs
Rikard Sjöblom: Guitares / Claviers / Accordéon / Choeurs
Ben Godfrey: Invité / Trompette / Cornet
Dave Desmond : Invité / Trombone
Evie Anderson: Invité / Violoncelle
John Storey: Invité / Euphonium
Jon Truscott : Invité / Tuba
Keith Hobday: Invité / Alto
Lucy Curnow: Invité / Violon
Nick Stones : Invité / Cor
   
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STATIONROCK
22/06/2016
 
57
0
Cet album (comme leurs concerts), est absolument parfait pour moi après une bonne dizaine d'écoutes.
Je ne vois pas qui va faire mieux cette année dans le genre.
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