Customer Reviews


6 Reviews
5 star:
 (5)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant pop-prog crossover, 1 Oct. 2009
By 
Jim (South Devon) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: English Boy Wonders (Audio CD)
This is a brief review of the 2008 re-recorded version of 'English Boy Wonders'. I haven't heard the original recording, so I can't compare the two. Two years ago I acquired BBT's last new studio album 'The Difference Machine', which was my first exposure to the band. My initial impression was favourable, but somehow I didn't get round to listening to it much after that. I guess I had mentally consigned them to the B-list of contemporary prog bands. My recent acquisition of 'English Boy Wonders', which I've got into in a big way, has prompted a re-exploration of the back catalogue, followed by a revision of that perhaps over-hastily formed opinion.

Generally, the albums seem to get better and better: 2002's rather unformed 'Bard' was not my cup of tea, but since 'Gathering Speed' (2004) it's clearly been nothing but onwards and upwards. This most recent release is an absorbing collection of musically proficient, well-crafted and well-recorded, reflective and melodic songs. I feel the progressive element here comes more from the overall conception and presentation than from the musical style itself. On English Boy Wonders, BBT have a pop-sensibility reminiscent of XTC, but generally have a unique sound that defies neat categorisation.

I particularly liked the unexpected piano-led jazzy moments that popped up at various points in the eclectic blend. EBW is a lengthy album - about 78 minutes longs, but to my ears not a dull moment. I now eagerly await their forthcoming studio album (December 2009) 'The Underfall Yard', which will surely, and deservedly raise Big Big Train's profile further.

Later in October 2009 edit: The 23 minute title track to 'The Underfall Yard' is now available for free download from the band's website. Sounds like this album is going to be another huge step forwards.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Over looked classic, 18 Oct. 2008
This review is from: English Boy Wonders (Audio CD)
This album was a real find for me. I loved prog rock of the 70s but felt it had lost it's way by the late 70 , and 80's. Big Big Train brought something new to the genre mixing traditional English prog of bands like Genesis and Camel with 80's pop like XTC. Unlike prog before it the album lyrics were real and tangible - chronicling the breakdown of Greg Spawton's (lead gtr) marriage. The album has it's moments of vitriol but it's not all darkness and reflects on the shear bliss of first love and the pain and despair when this is lost. check out the free downloads at [...]

This is a real collectors item. The album has been deleted for several years and is about to be remixed with much higher profile. The remixed and remade version is very different and will only increase the value of this rare find.

my favourite album of all time.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The title says it all!, 13 Sept. 2007
This review is from: English Boy Wonders (Audio CD)
BBT's second album. This one changes the style somewhat. A little darker, a little harsher perhaps, but the material is once again of outstanding quality. Maybe I'm tuned in to them now, but this took far less time to get into.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant pop-prog crossover, 1 Jan. 2011
By 
Jim (South Devon) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: English Boy Wonders (Audio CD)
This is a brief review of the 2008 re-recorded version of 'English Boy Wonders'. I haven't heard the original recording, so I can't compare the two. Two years ago I acquired BBT's last new studio album 'The Difference Machine', which was my first exposure to the band. My initial impression was favourable, but somehow I didn't get round to listening to it much after that. I guess I had mentally consigned them to the B-list of contemporary prog bands. My recent acquisition of 'English Boy Wonders', which I've got into in a big way, has prompted a re-exploration of the back catalogue, followed by a revision of that perhaps over-hastily formed opinion.

Generally, the albums seem to get better and better: 2002's rather unformed 'Bard' was not my cup of tea, but since 'Gathering Speed' (2004) it's clearly been nothing but onwards and upwards. This most recent release is an absorbing collection of musically proficient, well-crafted and well-recorded, reflective and melodic songs. I feel the progressive element here comes more from the overall conception and presentation than from the musical style itself. On English Boy Wonders, BBT display a pop-sensibility reminiscent of XTC, but generally create a unique sound that defies neat categorisation.

I particularly liked the unexpected piano-led jazzy moments that popped up at various points in the eclectic blend. At 78 minutes EBW is a lengthy album, but to my ears there is not a dull moment. I now eagerly await their forthcoming studio album (December 2009) 'The Underfall Yard', which will surely, and deservedly raise Big Big Train's profile further.

Later in October 2009 edit: The 23 minute title track to 'The Underfall Yard' is now available for free download from the band's website. Sounds like this album is going to be another huge step forwards.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 24 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: English Boy Wonders (Audio CD)
Excellent album from an excellent band.
Very good music; excellent vocals and guitars. To listen over and over again with allways something new.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars A very satisfying fusion of prog and reality, 15 Dec. 2012
By 
M. K. T. Willis (Stockton-on-Tees, Cleveland United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: English Boy Wonders (Audio CD)
I bought this album on the strength of hearing Goodbye to the Age of Steam. The band has gone through several noticeable phases, often dictated by the different vocalists involved. The current line up has heralded some amazing music starting with the Underfall Yard that resonates in me the with sense of Englishness, pre industrial and the changes wrought (as visually seen in the Olympic opening ceremony so brilliantly). Going back to the nineties however, the band was a different beast, focusing far more with this album on relationships and inner emotions. The lyrical content is far more applicable to most contemporary music and not so much about the abstract or fantastical (as is often the case in prog).

All of that said however, prog is very much in evidence throughout this wonderful album. The playing is very accomplished, with tracks taking many twists and turns along the way as you are swept along with them on instrumental flights of fancy. This album is very much a companion piece to their first album in its sound- this is largely due to the vocalist at that stage of their career and also the bass sound and general musical attack. The album is a long one and has been tweaked in recent years for re release, as it originally was not fully completed and minus key sounds (mellotron) that were intended to flesh out some of the tracks. I love the vocalist of these first two albums and he has a sound quite removed from the typical prog histrionics (in some ways he makes me think more of Tony Hadley, Tears for Fears or possibly Mansun). I don't normally pay much attention to vocals/lyrics, but there are a lot of them on this album and you do need to pay closer attention to see what separates this band from some of their peers. Equally there is a lot of fantastic keyboard and guitar parts. It took me 3 to 4 listens to really appreciate this (picking out delightful hooks, changes in mood, guitar breaks etc.), but I have found this to be the case with all of Big Big Train's albums with the exception of English Electric Part 1 which was very immediate and seems to bounce out of the speakers without a by-your-leave.

Most bands are on the wane after 20 plus years of recording but this band seems to be getting more and more self-assured/ accomplished with each release, perhaps due to their different collaborations and their evolving sound. English Boy Wonders is a glorious and excessive record which I know I will return to on a regular basis.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

English Boy Wonders
English Boy Wonders by Big Big Train (Audio CD - 2008)
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews