Under Review: The Big Pink – A Brief History Of Love

By the time I finish writing this, The Big Pink will likely have already been stripped of its title of “next, next big thing from Brit-land.”  Now that some other band has taken over the spotlight, let’s take some time to look back on the great, if brief career of The Big Pink.  Firstly, it’s important to understand that the duo don’t quite evoke the music of The Band as much as their name might imply.  What they do evoke is the heyday of their label, 4AD, namely the music of the Cocteau Twins, This Mortal Coil and Tones On Tail.  In fact, as much as Datarock botched the ‘80s revival thing on Red, The Big Pink nailed it on their debut, A Brief History Of Love.  Like so many albums these days, A Brief History contains several tracks that the band has previously released as stand-along singles.  Naturally, those songs stand out from the pack, but the record is more than just the soaring joy of “Dominos” or the grinding buzz of “Velvet.”  In fact, the latter part of the album brings out the best in the duo, as “Frisk” blends industrial beats with woozy synth leads, and “Tonight” features a guitar that sounds like its strings are going to break after one more note.   The more downbeat tracks give the set some great contrast, with the skittering “Too Young To Love” and the hazy “Love In Vain” being strongest in that area.  With such an instantly familiar sound and strong, creative songwriting, The Big Pink is the kind of band you hope to continue to flourish.  And look, I’ve reached the end of the review and they’re still massive.  Alert the NME: they finally got it right.

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~ by E. on September 18, 2009.

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