I did not get to know Gazpacho until a few weeks ago when I randomly picked Tick Tock (2009) which was a great introduction to them. I found their previous albums on German branch of Amazon.com and ended up listening to proceeding Tick Tock album Night (2008) next. I mean really listening to it for a while over and over until it sunk in. Following that experience I turned to even earlier Firebird (2005). I consider it weaker than both Night and Tick Tock but it is still a 5 star album to me. Firebird contains a few beautiful songs of daylight quality as opposed to much more obscured dreamy songs of The Night or even more solemn songs of Tick Tock. I think that most of us familiar with these three albums or listening to all three of them for a while would be able to get a sense of becoming of this great band captured within some songs of Firebird, which do not feel as solid as some other songs of this album and all of the following ones. The style is in the making and to me it feels almost like the style of later Gazpacho is mixed with the sound of good pop music. That could be great news for many (I bet from noticing reaction of others to some of the music I have been listening for decades) who simply find the music of Gazpacho too solemn and depressing. There is more light shining through here. Less greatness but plenty of it to go around and when it comes through, like on Orion 1 or on Prisoner, it is breath taking. These are probably my favorite songs of Firebird. I actually like Orion 2 quite a bit as well, and Do You Know What You Are Saying? What is this motive I can hear in Orion 1 and in my head ever since? It starts right around a minute and a half into the song and is one of these motives which you feel like you must have known forever. I still can't put my finger on it. It is very likely that I have overheard Orion 1 somewhere a while back and that is why it sounds so familiar. I can hear echoes of ABBA inside of Prisoner and that connection is beautifully done.
I will write a few words here about my thoughts on Gazpacho's beginning two albums. I would not review them separately because when I first started writing these music reviews I had decided to concentrate only on albums I could assign 5 stars to. This way my list would be a great asset for someone of similar taste to mine and it allows me to speak only when I have nice things to say, which was one of my childhood lessons. Not that I always use it in life but why not use it here. I am afraid I am going to contradict myself in a while but that is all right because I am burying the criticism in an overall complement... about Firebird and Gazpacho. After listening to their beginnings the genius of this band is becoming clear and I have a feeling that the change of overall energy and atmosphere I can notice on Firebird has a lot to do with the replacement of Gazpacho's rhythm section, perheps? The sound of the early music of Bravo (2003) has some remnants of Dead Or Alive, INXS, Radiohead, at times Depeche Mode, or Bauhaus, The Pretenders, mixed with a random Portishead-like electronic layer and other elements in it, like a real gazpacho but without one prevailing style. When Earth Lets Go (2004) comes out of that territory with more and more developed style shining through, however that mixture of their early sound and song structure in combination with a collection of far out poetry and many meaningless phrases makes these albums quite challenging for me to absorb. However they must have been a training ground on Gazpacho's walk to greatness. A lot of ideas were tested in those early songs, even if with mixed success. A few songs I consider special but if the majority contain the magic, perhaps I am just blind to it. However, seeing where they are coming from and the distance they have travelled I can hardly wait to what is still ahead of them. Brilliant is their journey because like a bunch of little kids they just keep on growing, right in front of our eyes.