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Big Big Train – The Likes of Us

Big Big Train - The Likes of Us

4.8

Rating

4.8/5

Flyctory.com Pros

  • Lovely epic progressive rock tracks
  • Even the very long ones are not boring at all

The Likes of Us is already the 15th studio album by the British progressive rock band Big Big Train. Founded in 1990, the band is looking back to more than three decades of music, I had the opportunity to already listen to the album before its release on 1st March 2024. Here are my thoughts.

 

Big Big Train – About The Artists

Big Big Train are a band from Bornemouth. The list of past and current members is so long that there is even a dedicated Wikipedia site for it. However, one band member is part of the project from the very beginning: Gregory Spawton is the guitarist, bass guitar and keyboarder of the band. Another rather famous member of the band, being active in it since 2009, is drummer and percussionist Nick D’Virgilio. Guitarist and keyboarder Rikard Sjöblom is having his tenth band anniversary this year. The other four members, Dave Forster (guitars, Clare Lindley (violin, vocals), Alberto Bravin (lead singer, guitars, tambourine) and Oskar Holdldorff (keyboards), all joined the band in the 2020’s. One characteristic feature of their music are the epic songs – the previous album Ingenious devices just had five tracks – and apart from a 90 second interlude one, none of the songs were shorter than 12 minutes.

 

Big Big Train – The Likes of Us – Track by Track

The eight song album lasts 64 minutes.

1. Light Left In The Day

Light Left In The Day is opening the album The Likes of Us. Compared to other tracks in here, the six minute opener does not feel surprisingly long. The song starts a bit of folk-ish, but then also creates a dark, a bit heavier sound. Thereby, Big Big Train is rather telling the story of the song by virtuous guitar and keyboard play than using too many lyrics. Thus, the opener underlines the high level of talent this band is based on.

2. Oblivion

The second song of the album is Oblivion. Even though it also comes with the wide range of keyboard melodies, the song feels louder, more rocking. On top of that, Alberto Bravon proofs being an excellent vocalist – a great choice by this band.

3. Beneath The Masts

As I said in the introduction parts, Big Big Train tend to be a bit of epic. However, I guess I rarely had a song like Beneath The Masts in a review before. The song goes for lean 17:27 minutes. The first vocal part incepts after two and a half minutes roughly. Thus, the key question finally is: does the track boring or does the plot provide sufficient different elements which lead to a stunning listen? Finally, it is the latter. From vocal parts to fine string episodes, from fine dreaming memories to guitar showcases – this song has it all. And it is fun to listen to it. Finally, the song is rather comparably to a sonata or a short symphony.

4. Skates On

To write the fireside songs
Puta spring in your step
Go out and have some fun
Good times and carry-ons
There’s light left in the day
Enough to bloom

The following song of the album is Skates On. Alberto Bravin is in the lead in this track from the very beginning, which is much more vocal-driven than the song before. Even though the song does have a bit of that epic and narrative touch, it works nicely despite its comparably short playtime of 4:29 minutes.

5. Miramare

Can you imagine that mainstream radio plays a ten minute song at full length? I would love them to do so. The less, I can really imagine that the lovely Miramare has ever made it to a radio station from beginning to the end. What a shame the song would have deserved any kind of fame. Definitely one of my favorites of the album.

6. Love Is The Light

Love Is the Light closes the set of three single releases. The very slow beginning has ballad-alike touch. This is also supported by backing trumpet and violin sounds. Even though (not too surprisingly…) there are some more intense part, Love Is The Light is an amazing praise for love.

7. Bookmarks

Even though the song feels a bit dramatic and melancholic at the beginning, the 6:24 minute song Bookmarks does have the strongest touch of a ballad for a quite long part of its playtime. Nonetheless, the second half of the song heads back to a typical progressive rock sound. The rich arrangement even has a symphonic touch. Beautiful listen.

8. Last Eleven

The eighth and final song lasts eight minute. No slow start this time, guitars and vocals are there from the very beginning. The melodies impress, strong lyrics like We can take wing and scale the heights impress. The song reminds me of the golden era of progressive rock bands.

 

Big Big Train – The Likes of Us – Spotify

Here is The Likes of Us on Spotify:

 

Big Big Train – The Likes of Us – My View

We are in the times of TikTok. In 2020’s, many people struggle to go for messages longer than 30 second or a minute. Mainstream music becomes shorter and shorter. Songs with a duration of two minutes are not too uncommon any more. The more, we have to be thankful for bands like Big Big Train. And for albums like The Likes of Us. The British band is daring to be different. And I love listening to them. Thanks guys!

Favorite Song: Last Eleven

 

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