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Big Wheel and Others

Big Wheel and Others

14 Oct 2013
4.1 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
There's a raft of these groovin', kinda lo-fi albums knocking about over the past couple of years, and they have a lot in common: great hooky songs, decent straight ahead playing, and they all just fall short of being indispensable. Cass McCombs' "Big Wheels & Others" fits the bill: it swings and sways and at its best - "There Can Be Only One" - it really sounds great. McCombs writes and plays pretty well (that's a compliment - not meant as faint praise), and the sound is warm and rich. This sounds like a great band all sitting around in a circle, playing off each other (leaning in, as Dylan once famously said). However, 22 tracks stretched out over 86 minutes (including the, uh, cute takes of Sean talking) is asking a lot of a listener.
So, like a lot of double albums (and the odd triple, you know who you are The Clash) this is pretty good, and worth buying, but it would have made a cracking single album. There are a fair amount of ordinary tracks here (though little filler) and a handful of stone cold classics, and some judicious editing and advice from the producer (Cass himself) would have only have improved things.
Why four stars? Because it sounds so good, and because the good songs are great, and because I've already knocked out a single cd version of this for my iTunes.
If you like Jonathan Wilson, Phosphorescent, Eels and Real Estate, then sign yourselves up for another jangly Telecaster ride.
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Format: Audio CD
I read exactly the same Q review as those quoted (although I have to say, the years when I relied on Q's opinion are long gone). For me this is a fabulous album, full of character, great/quirky lyrics and varied melodic styles. An album that polarizes opinion this much - albeit from a very small sample - has to be worth a listen, at least?
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Format: Audio CD
A great selection of songs, some of very unusual, but still interesting calibre.
If you read Q magazine for your musical advancement then you really do not qualify for finding new and good music for yourself, but are relying on others opinions, get out and find music, by either going to folk clubs, concerts, shops and listen or even cop out and turn the radio on. Possibly investigation into a chain of musicians from something you like, whatever, just do it yourself.
Because if one just reads reviews of others ideas of what is good, then you will come unstuck.
This release has great merit in itself, even some of the more difficult songs have more within when not heard for more than the occasional quick observation. Yes this may not be the most worthwhile investment one can make, but it is worthy of its place in many'a collection.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I read the review in Q magazine with no prior knowledge of Cass McCombs. The review was glowing and said everything I would like to say here.I bought it and have no regrets.
It is a strong album from a very individual voice who has ideas and musicianship. Q likened him to Rufus Wainwright, and there is a hint of that, but Cass McCombs seems to be rougher and edgier altogether.
I am not sure singling out tracks would do it justice. This deserves 70s style listening as a whole. It will grow and grow by word of mouth over a while I am sure.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I started reading Q magazine about 28 years ago, have never missed an issue since then and consider it a great source for developing new music tastes. There are many artists who I love that Q has introduced me to. Their review for Big Wheels and Others was possibly the best review I have read for an album in those 28 years. Five stars and perfect. Cass McCombs could do no wrong in the reviewers ears so naturally, I purchased it. On the first listen, I was massively disappointed. Lo fi production and meandering, bland songs and way too many songs, given the poor quality of them. I surmised that this would be a "grower". I have plenty of albums which I now adore where I had to invest time and perserve with to "get it". So I persevered and listened to it again five more times. It has not progressed one iota with me. It's still dreadfully underwhelming and crushingly less than average and I now realise this wont change so I wont be playing it ever again and the voyage of discovery that I embarked on with Cass has run aground. Anybody want the album? Free except for postage and packing.................
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