Dreamy Music About Love from the Big Pink

Sep 1, 2009
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Production, Instrumentation, Lyrical Themes, Performances, & Arrangements.

Cons:None.

The Bottom Line: A Brief History of Love is a Thrilling, Atmospheric Debut Album from the Big Pink.



Known as the Big Pink, the London-based electro-rock duo featuring vocalist/guitarist/programmer Robbie Furze and keyboardist/programmer/vocalist Milo Cordell are becoming one of the newest acts to come out of the famed 4AD label. With their blend of haunting electronic music and swooning shoegaze, the Big Pink has been gaining buzz with the NME after winning a Best New Act award in early 2009 thanks in part to the single Too Young To Love in the fall of 2008. With more singles released through the 4AD label gaining critical attention. Anticipation for the debut album ran high among the U.K. press as it's finally was available in August 2009 through the band's website.

Produced by the Big Pink with one track co-produced with Paul Epsworth with mixing by Rich Cotsey and on one track, Alan Moulder. A Brief History of Love is an album filled with dreamy songs reminiscent of early 90s shoegaze with elements of chaotic electro-rock. With thematic songs about love and all of its complex emotions. The record features contributions from Guapo/Sunn O))) bassist Daniel O'Sullivan on bass, piano, and violin along with Florence Welch of Florence & the Machine. A Brief History of Love is one of the most fascinating and evocative debut albums of the year.

The album opener and leading single Crystal Visions starts off with swirling guitar melodic chimes that flourish through the opening momentum of the track. With its blaring, fuzzy guitar swirls and driving bass lines, Robbie Furze starts to sing with his nasally, dreamy vocal style. With its esoteric lyrics, the song delves into a mid-tempo rhythm with its growling guitar drones and hard-hitting beats. Too Young To Love is a hypnotic, upbeat track with wailing guitar drones and throbbing beats from Milo Cordell. With Furze's dreamy vocals and wall-to-wall production in its mix of guitars and beats, the song features dream-like lyrics. The current single Dominos is an upbeat song with bouncy beats, driving guitar, and thumping bass lines. With Furze's vocals taking shape with colorful, descriptive lyrics, it's a song that one of the album's standout cuts thanks in part to the crisp yet atmospheric production contribution by Paul Epsworth.

Love In Vain is a trance-like track with swooning synthesizer flourishes and soft, thumping beats that is followed by melodic guitar chimes and a whistling synthesizer. With Furze's vocals singing in a calm vocal style with its evocative, somber lyrics, it's a track that is rich in its production and presentation. At War With The Sun is a mid-tempo track with washy guitar flourishes, upbeat rhythms, swooning synthesizers, and droning guitars. With Furze's calm, dreamy vocals filled with esoteric lyrics, it's a song that works in its complex arrangements and shoegaze-style presentation. The single Velvet is led by Cordell's scratchy, throbbing beat claps and fuzzy synthesizer bass melodies. With Furze's swooning vocals and melancholic lyrics, it is supported by a bouncy, mid-tempo rhythm and driving guitars that is wonderfully mixed by Alan Moulder.

Golden Pendulum is an electronic-driven track with wailing synthesizers, scratchy beats, and smooth, mid-tempo rhythms. With Furze's abstract, dream-like lyrics and soothing vocals, it's a track is supported by heavy production layers in the synthesizers and beats as it's definitely a phenomenal track. Frisk is another electronic-presented track with swirling synthesizer flourishes, thumping beats, and whistling keyboard tracks as it features a driving guitar accompaniment in the background. With Furze's calm vocals, the song goes into a full-on rock mode with hard-hitting live drums and blazing guitars as Furze sings about love's cruelty and its troubles as the song moves back and forth in its presentation. The title track is a rich, ethereal track with mid-tempo rhythms through a pounding bass and washy guitar swirls. Furze's soothing vocals is joined by a female vocalist as they sing lyrics of heartbreak with swooning synthesizer fuzzes from Milo Cordell.

Tonight is an electronic track with scratchy, throbbing beats along with swooning synthesizer melodies and driving guitar drones. With a bouncy, mid-tempo beat joining along, Furze's vocals sing about all of love's troubles during a night on the town. With guitars blaring during the chorus, it's a wonderful mix of electronic music and rock as it works for its dramatic but bouncy tone. The final track Count Backwards From Ten arrives with a droning guitar that is followed by a slow, pounding drum fill with Furze's wailing guitar solo. With Furze's nasally vocals and somber lyrics, it's a fitting song for the album as it's a dreamy, esoteric track with washy acoustic guitars and soothing guitars.

A Brief History of Love is a phenomenal debut release from the Big Pink. Fans of early 90s shoegaze rock will be glad to hear that the shoegaze sound is alive and well. Even with the resurgence of noise-pop and forms of noise-rock emerging from bands like the Pains of Being Pure at Heart and HEALTH. It's definitely a great year for this kind of music as the Big Pink make a debut record that is worth hearing. In the end, A Brief History of Love is a sensational, dream-like record from the Big Pink that is great to hear while driving at night.


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