BIG BIG TRAIN – The Second Brightest Star (2017)

BIG BIG TRAIN - The Second Brightest Star (2017) full

Classic Prog collective BIG BIG TRAIN have made the surprise announcement that they’ll release a brand new album soon. They launched their 10th record Grimspound (featured here) at the end of April this year to great critical acclaim – and they’ve wasted no time in setting up its follow-up, “The Second Brightest Star“, available at the band’s merch site and next month at all major retailers.

The Second Brightest Star is a companion album to Grimspound and the previous Big Big Train CD, and features 40 minutes of new material.
Alongside these new tracks, the CD contains an additional 30 minutes of music presenting songs from Folklore (2016) and Grimspound (2017) in extended arrangements.

The new songs are very interesting as most of them sound quite unlike any recent releases, such as the title track and ‘Skylon’. Big Big Train feel very introspective here, showcasing aanother side of this fascinating combo.
‘The Passing Widow’ is acomposition with much of early Genesis on it, very good stuff. ‘Terra Australis Incognita’ and ‘The Gentlemen’s Reprise’ were both originally planned as potential conclusions of ‘Experimental Gentlemen’ (from Grimspound), but none of the two pieces were used. It’s great to hear them here.

On the other side, the “extended versions” from the previous albums are typical Big Big Train, and I think these re-works are much better than the originals.
‘Brooklands’ and ‘London Plane’ are more expansive here, intriguing, the latter being a true rendition to that British Prog classic era.

BIG BIG TRAIN - The Second Brightest Star (2017) back

This sublimely beautiful offering is the third installment of an brilliant trilogy from Big Big Train, all released in roughly 13 months time. Beginning with Folklore, followed by Grimspound, and now: The Second Brightest Star.
Sweetly reflective, dreamy, and gorgeous classic Prog.

01 – The Second Brightest Star
02 – Haymaking
03 – Skylon
04 – London Stone
05 – The Passing Widow
06 – The Leaden Stour
07 – Terra Australis Incognita
08 – Brooklands sequence:
– On The Racing Line
– Brooklands
09 – London Plane sequence:
– Turner On The Thames
– London Plane
10 – The Gentlemen’s Reprise

Dave Gregory – electric & 12-string guitars
Andy Poole – acoustic guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
Rikard Sjöblom – guitar, keyboards (8), backing vocals
Danny Manners – keyboards, double bass
Rachel Hall – violin, viola, cello, backing vocals, string arrangements
Greg Spawton – bass, bass pedals, backing vocals
Nick D’Virgilio – drums, percussion, backing vocals
David Longdon – lead & backing vocals, flute, melodica, electric & acoustic guitars, banjo, piano, celesta, synth, mandolin, lute, percussion


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