7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 15 May 2004
Until recently,I had never heard of Bic Runga before, her name appeared in an 'other artists you may like' list. I heard 'Sway' and liked it immediately. In fact, I liked it enough to buy a copy of 'Beautiful Collision' It can be risky buying an album on the strength of one song, but this time it was no mistake.
Bic's songs soar with fluctuating emotion from the thrill of love,hope and joy,to sorrow.
First of all is the simple, acoustic track 'When I See You Smile' Bic sings soulfully whilst strumming the guitar, it's gorgeous, and even makes me question my choice of exit song for my forthcoming wedding.The style changes swiftly in the following song 'Get Some Sleep' which is bright and lively with a catchy beat. 'Something Good' is softer than 'Get Some Sleep' it has background vocals which adds a good quality to it.(Well, I appreciate BGVs anyway!) 'Honest Goodbyes' touches on melancholy with a piano, it's tune is quite catchy and the song does boast a good strings arrangement. 'She Left on a Monday' is soft and regretful with gentle lyrics in the verses and a lovely cacophany of instruments.'Listening For The Weather' is a very sunny, hopeful song starting with a harmonica, and a happy theme, Neil Finn, former 'Crowded House' vocalist accompanies Bic in the chorus. It's an uplifting song: "...never be afraid of change..." ' Counting The Days' is a more slow, and contemplative song with a banjo and a clarinet giving a very slight jazz twinge.'Gravity' is lead by a piano and reminds me of Nerina Pallot (if you like Bic Runga, try Nerina Pallot, her music has some similarities). A good, dreamy song. The last track is bonus track 'Sway' from Bic's debut album, 'Drive'. 'Sway' is a heartfelt plea to her beloved to stay, and she pleads her case, again a good line up of instruments accompany her...beautiful.
Bic's soft voice lulls the listener into a sense of calm, whilst also arousing happy vibes which will lift you into a good mood.This is undeniably an artist with talent, she has written the lyrics and music herself, which is a refreshing change from artists who rely on others to write their songs. Bic is a talent worth discovering and hopefully her new album will make people aware of her great talent.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 26 March 2004
I came across the Music of Bic Runga whilst travelling in New Zealand last year (she gets a lot of airtime on the radio down there) and was instantly transfixed by her fantastic voice, gorgeous melodies and great songwriting. Whilst there, I bought all of her albums, including Beautiful Collision.
From the word go, this is a magical album. 'When I See You Smile' is a beautifully sung, simple song - just Bic's voice and a guitar. The upbeat, poppy 'Get Some Sleep' is a lovely description of life on the road, trying to get people listening to your music. 'Something Good' is a beautiful, uplifting love song - I defy you to not feel happier after hearing it! And so it goes on through the album, all great, engrossing songs - not a bad one on the album. Just listen to 'Listening for the Weather' when you're feeling a bit down, and I guarentee you'll feel better!
All-in-all, a tremendous album from a wonderful singer who will surely soon break into the bit time in Europe, she simply has too much talent to only be well known in Aotearoa. Bic Runga's previous album, 'Drive' is also fantastic, as is her 'Live in Concert' Album with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (though I'm not sure if this is available in the UK).
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 29 March 2004
Bic Runga is a name hat means very little to us in the UK, thankfully that is about to change. Sarah Mclachlan is the only person I can think to compare her to, songs with simple yet interesting lyrics and melodies that just seem to flow along, but not half as depressing. Bic Runga has the type of voice that can carry as song, the is no more obvious than on “When I See You Smile,” which is just Runga and her guitar although you won’t believe it the first time you hear it. The albums strongest songs are “Get Some Sleep,” “Election Night,” and “Beautiful Collision.” Through out the album you can feel Runga’s Asian influences, and this is something that separates her out from the wave of female talent available at the moment, Norah Jones, Amy Winehouse etc… Bic Runga is a colossal talent, with a great flair for song writing, and attention-grabbing and beautiful voice. Bic Runga should not be ignored, possibly the best album of the year so far.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 27 February 2004
Having purchased Drive a few years ago, I read the reviews on Amazon and grabbed a copy to see how she'd moved on since.
Bic has a great voice, pure and direct, and the songs are similar, with simple structure. So for a background filler or something on the radio these are fine, but look a little closer and you'll find there isn't a lot of substance.
As with a lot of initially successful artists, a lot of additional production has gone into the 2nd album. This detracts here, in that simple songs best kept sparse, become hollow, stretched out by a lot of unnecessary additions.
So, not a terrible record by any means, but hardly a classic in it's genre.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Bic Runga is a rare talent. She can make radio friendly songs that are so bitter sweet and angelic,while having an edge to it too.
Beautiful Collision is Bic's second album and shows much more maturity than Drive. On the plus side there's more little quirks to each song that you dont pick up on the first listen, but to counterbalance that is the fact there's very few real single songs that scream "Sway". That's partly because the album is a much sedate affair, the kind you'll curl up with someone and listen to with doting eyes.
Beautiful songs, outstanding voice and songs that grow on you quicker than a rash, you'll end up treasuring this album.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 18 March 2003
It's a shame Bic has never been given a fair hearing in the UK since I truly believe she could be a big success. For those lucky enough to have discovered her music, like myself, her albums are hidden gems that rarely stray far from the CD player...
Indeed, as with her first album 'Beautiful Collision' is full of songs you become more attached to with every listen. Every song is interesting and evocative, both lyrically and musically – brim full of melodic charm and an emotional edge often likened to Björk.
For me personally it's relaxing and inspiring music – great on a stressed or rainy day. To be honest it plucks the emotional strings more often than I'm likely to admit ;)
It's unfair to pinpoint specific tracks since they're all great, but the standout ones in my opinion include:
- Get Some Sleep
- Something Good
- Precious Things
- She Left On A Monday
- Listening For The Weather
If you’re new to Bic get 'Drive' first, if not both!
Overall: An excellent album worthy of global recognition.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 December 2003
I bought this album before I got 'Drive', as they didn't have 'Drive' in the shop, which I had originally intended to purchase. Having now owned both, I beleive this is the stronger of the two. 'Beautiful Collision' strikes the perfect balance between instrumental and vocal.
From the melancholy swayths of 'She Left on a Monday' to the dark and beautiful 'Election Night', this CD is one of the best I have ever had the pleasure to own. It's a fantastic album to listen to when driving, while eating with friends, or to sink into when you are feeling down.
My favourite track is 'Gravity'. The beautiful words and simple piano riffs subtley climax into a subdued and wonderful crechendo which both lifts the hairs on the back of your neck and brings tears to the eyes. Indescribable.
Bic's distinctive and magical voice both inspires and soothes. Each song holds a very different meaning, and one which I think must becomes uniquely individual to whoever may listen to it.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 28 August 2003
I came across this album whilst living in New Zealand (where it was released over a year ago) and, while I don't often listen to this sort of thing (not really into 'pop'), I have to admit it's the best album (of its type) I've heard for years.
Bic has a wonderful voice - gentle, pitch perfect and unique (although it reminds me a little of her from the Cardigans) and the songs themselves are delightful. Wistful and dreamy, full of love and longing, real instruments (Dido take note), never even slightly melodramatic or forced, and totally memorable.
Some may find it a bit poppy at times (at least two of the tracks were NZ Top Ten hits) but, as I said, I'm not into 'pop' per se, but this really knocks me out.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 8 May 2005
Bic Runga is fantastic, there's no doubt about that. She's calming and creative, and some songs on this album really give me the shivers. This was the soundtrack to my travelling Europe, and having listened to it so many times while on buses and planes, I really grew attached to it, but that isn't why I'm giving it five stars - I'm giving it five stars because it's good.
'When I See You Smile' - a really good opening track, the best choice she could have made. Simple, but lovely. Sadly, it's a little short, but it gets the feel of the album across brilliantly. 8/10
'Get Some Sleep' - hey, this is quite poppy. One of the better pop songs on the album, and almost the best track on the album. It's very good, and it's helped me feel at home in some pretty grotty places. 10/10
'Something Good' - sadly this track can be stuck with the next two, 'Precious Things' and 'The Be All and End All', as these are the three average tracks. Very dull, and while they are good fillers, putting three in a row is a little off. 6/10 for each of the three.
'Election Night' - this is by far the best song on the album, I absolutely adore it. So imaginative, the lyrics, signing, music, it's all incredible! One of my favourite songs ever, seriously. 10/10, I'd give it more if I could.
'Honest Goodbyes' - a very nice track, but by no means spectacular. A little bit of a let down between the two best tracks on this album to be honest with you. 8/10
'She Left On A Monday' - this is very good. Extremely good, bitter lyrics put to a good piece of music. Not exactly 'Election Night' in standard, but it is very close. I love it. 10/10.
'Beautiful Collision' - the title track, and not something to be sniffed at. Odd, but nice. It falls into the category of 'mysterious and reassuring'. 8/10 for this very good track.
'Listening For The Weather' - much like the second track, but not really as good. I'll give it a 7/10, but only for the fact that it is so similar to 'Get Some Sleep'.
'Counting The Days' and 'Gravity' are two quite good songs to finish off the album, but I have to say, I would have been disappointed had I not bought this album. It has an extra track, and while these two are of a good standard, they are not album finishing material. 7/10 each.
'Sway' - GASP! I adore this song. I heard it first on American Pie, but that is not why I bought this album. It's such a good song, and it made me feel so warm and fuzzy while dossing it in Poland. If you have nothing else to buy this album for, this song along with 'Election Night' are reason enough!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 27 March 2004
Bic Runga is a name that means very little to us in the UK, thankfully that is about to change. Runga has created a collection of songs to relax and watch the world go by to. Sarah Mclachlan is the only person I can think to compare her to, lyrically they are very similar, but that is where the similarities stop. Runga has the kind of singing voice that can carry a song, this is no more obvious than on When I See You Smile, which is just Runga and her guitar. Get Some Sleep and Beautiful Collision are stand out tracks on an amazing album, but what is truly amazing is that even through her transition into western music you can still feel her Asian roots through her music, and that is what truly separates her out from the wave of female talent around at the moment. An amazing talent and one that you wont regret purchasing, a classic.