Sunday 27 December 2009

Music Review: The Big Pink - A Brief History of Love

Indiessential Albums of 2009

I'm always on the lookout for good, new music so when a very dear and old friend of mine suggested The Big Pink, I rushed right out and gave them a listen. 

The Big Pink - A Brief History of Love

Image source: Jayne Helliwell design

The Big Pink are from London, England and are signed to he massive 4AD label which brought us brilliant bands such as Pixies, Bauhaus and Throwing Muses.  They are not an easy band to classify and their style is a mix of indie rock, shoegazing and electro rock.  They have certainly arrived on the scene with a bang and won the prestigious NME Philip Hall Radar Award for best new act this year.

The Big Pink (Tom Beard)
Photo by Tom Beard [Image Source]

Like with Editors - In This Light and On This Evening, I’m going to review each song on this album as I was pretty impressed with it.  Unfortunately, their music is not up on like it was with Editors but they do have a brilliant website [Music From The Big Pink] and you can listen to four of their songs by clicking on their names below:

The Big Pink - A Brief History of Love
Record label: 4AD
Release date: 14 September 2009

Where the song titles are links, they link to the YouTube videos (4AD have their own channel!)

  1. Crystal Visions: After a build up of a minute, the album explodes with the energetic and anthemic “Crystal Visions”.  At first it reminded me a little bit of All About Eve around the time that they brought out “Phased” but it soon becomes evident that they are channelling The Jesus and Mary Chain and boy are they doing a good job!  This song has the most awesome baseline!
  2. Too Young To Love: Another brilliant and anthemic song that brings to mind Kula Shaker.  I love the grinding guitars and beat.  This is like Californian beach music or music to listen to on your way out at night.  Or music to go see live in concert.  I don’t need to give you any more reasons… this is exciting and energetic music and you should give it a listen!
  3. Dominos: This is their massive radio hit and you’ll probably recognise it.  It reminds me of M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” from the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack or MGMT’s “Time to Pretend”.  It’s just a really happy song although why I’m saying it when it’s about men not being able to commit, I’ll never know.
  4. Love In Vain:  This is not my favourite song as I find it kind of anti-climatic after the previous three songs but it might appeal to Jesus and Mary Chain fans.
  5. At War With The Sun: This song is a dead ringer for the Stone Roses.  Seriously, it could have been written by Ian Brown himself.  Which is not a bad thing and they definitely make it their own towards the end (well, obviously, seeing as it is their own song) but it is clear who their influences are.
  6. Velvet: This song reminds me so much of My Bloody Valentine and it definitely earns The Big Pink the shoegazing label.  It is really beautiful and makes me want to lie in a park in the sun.
  7. Golden pendulum: Sweeping guitar riffs and lazy vocals continue the shoegazing theme and Jesus and Mary chain channelling.
  8. Frisk: The backing vocals in this song remind me of Jane’s Addiction to some extent.  This song is quite edgy and a nice contrast to the previous tracks.
  9. A Brief History of Love: This is an amazing song featuring the incredibly talented Joanne Robertson (also known as Joanne Apps).
  10. Tonight: This is the best song on the album.  I love the grinding guitars and once again, that gorgeous vocal reminds me of Perry Farrell from Jane’s Addiction.
  11. Countbackwards From Ten: This reminds me of “Today” from The Smashing Pumpkins.  Coming at the end of an energetic, frenetic album, this is a fantastic closing song to the album.  It’s not exactly calming, more like that last song at the end of the best concert of your life.  The one that sees you walking out the doors on a complete natural high. 

I must say that this album was an excellent find and a big thank you to Mike for recommending them to me!  Once again, I am only too happy to give this album five stars!


The Big Pink links

Official website: Music From The Big Pink



NME profile


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