[Review] Big Big Train – Welcome To The Planet

Big Big Train are one of the main modern Progressive Rock bands, active since 1990, during their career they have released masterpieces appreciated by critics and audiences. Their new and 14th album “Welcome To The Planet” was released via English Electric Records on January 28, 2022 and contains 9 tracks. The album opens up the positive melodies of “Made from Sunshine” with pleasant interlacing of guitar and keyboards and David’s warm and passionate vocals. A ballad with folk nuances, with very intense lyrics and a good guitar solo in the end, a soft but very engaging opener. The following “The Connection Plan” opens with the violin and a warm and expressive vocal, characterized by a solid rhythmic session and a good mix of Prog sounds. The keyboards offer refined and elaborate inserts and the tempo changes are an added value of the piece, with a pressing rhythm and a good instrumental section in the second part. I’m Genovese and “Lanterna” is a track to which I am particularly attached, it begins with an intertwining of piano and guitar arpeggios and layered vocals. After a first part with dreamy atmospheres, with a purely Prog change in BBT style the track increases in intensity. The piano inserts and the guitar solo are excellent, while the choral singing is engaging, a track with elaborate and refined textures. “Capitoline Venus” is the shortest of the album, a delicate guitar arpeggio and sweet vocal by David accompany us for just over 2 minutes, a passage full of pathos. The first part of the album ends with “A Room with No Ceiling” characterized by a jazzy intro, where guitar and deep bass lines intertwine. The drumming is intricate and virtuous and the track moves slowly coming to life with elaborate textures that transform into a rhythmic marching style with accordion and organ intertwining in the melodies. entirely instrumental it evolves increasing the intensity with a brief accordion solo at the end that accompanies us at the end of this excellent piece. The second part of the disc opens with “Proper Jack Froster” characterized by Folk-Rock sounds and the singing that alternates David’s solo voice with choral parts. The violin inserts are valuable, with tempo changes that allow you to pass from softer parts to more rhythmic ones. A winning blend of Prog and Folk-Rock sounds, with a ’70s touch and BBT style that blend to create a track of absolute value. “Bats in the Belfry” is a particular and elaborate track, which enhances Nick’s drumming and differs slightly from the usual BBT productions. Very interesting, with the winds in evidence and a supporting bass line, while the drum performs in frenetic and very technical parts. In the central part the track becomes more powerful for a short passage and with pompous breaths in the second with hypnotic electronic keyboards. the band shows a more experimental facet of their sound, original and virtuous. They return to the dreamy atmospheres with “Oak and Stone” which opens with the piano and the sweet voice of David and excellent vocal harmonies. The drumming here is softer and more brushed with delicate piano and double bass melodies. In the part of the piece Jazz plots are developed with the addition of the violin and winds, while in the finale an orchestral background is added that accompanies us at the closing. The album ends with the title track “Welcome to the Planet” which opens with pompous winds, and then develops with a fine duet of male and female voices. Good guitar inserts and choral parts, while the piece moves slowly creating an almost cinematic atmosphere. With a touch of Jazz and excellent vocal textures, and then increase in intensity and close with a crescendo. Another great chapter in the discography of BBT, skilled in proposing intense albums that mix various genres and styles with their own personal touch. This work confirms that they are one of the best bands of the modern music scene, many ideas, well composed and executed with technique and quality. A recommended listening, a concentrate of good music, which manages to mix the various facets of Progressive music with the addition of the personal BBT style.

Tracklist

Part One:
1. Made from Sunshine (4:04)
2. The Connection Plan (3:55)
3. Lanterna (6:29)
4. Capitoline Venus (2:27)
5. A Room with No Ceiling (4:52)
Part Two:
6. Proper Jack Froster (6:38)
7. Bats in the Belfry (4:54)
8. Oak and Stone (7:12)
9. Welcome to the Planet (6:41)

Lineup

David Longdon / Lead Vocals
Gregory Spawton / Bass
Rikard Sjöblom / Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals
Nick D’Virgilio / Drums, Vocals
Carly Bryant / Keyboards, Lead Vocals (9)
Dave Foster / Guitars
Clare Lindley / Violin, Vocals

Big Big Train |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|YouTube Channel|

Burning Shed Records |Official Website|Facebook Page|Twitter|Instagram|

English Electric |Official Website|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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