The Big Pink
A Brief History of Love


3.5
great

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
September 15th, 2009 | 160 replies | 16,553 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Alternate album title: A Brief Recollection of Loveless.

One often has to wonder if U.K music reviewers are contractually obliged to hype debut albums released by their homegrown artists. Since yours truly only resides in a colony of the old dart, I am under no such obligation. Of course if I were, I need only to state three words; My Bloody Valentine. For fear of enticing mass hysteria however, no mention of that band’s seminal 1991 LP will be made during this review of The Big Pink’s ‘A Brief History of Love’.

The Big Pink is technically just two men, both of which have previously run their own record labels; lead vocalist & guitarist Robbie Furze and synth programmer Milo Cordell. Do not let that fact fool you however, as the sonic depth which they deliver here could have one thinking that a smorgasbord of musicians are involved. Creating such an epic soundscape is indeed an audacious ambition, as is the album’s concept that is given away by its title. You see, ‘A Brief History of Love’ is an attempt to sum up every different aspect of love… From being in love all the way through to feeling loveless. Ooops, let’s move on shall we?

Opener ‘Crystal Visions’ immediately showcases the duo’s feedback-drenched & multi-layered wall of sound, while follow-up ‘Too Young to Love’ gives off an industrial vibe by adding electronic elements. It is a captivating opening ten minutes that will have listeners recalling influences from The Jesus and Mary Chain through to Nine Inch Nails. But then, in a jarring shift of direction, ‘Dominos’ thrusts itself into the limelight in a manner that will surely see it be one of 2009’s most polarizing singles. With the simple & nonsensical – yet highly infectious – chorus of “These girls fall like dominos… Dominos”, The Big Pink suddenly give off an indie-pop feel, albeit one with much more occurring musically than the genre’s usual performers.

A cynic might suggest that the album’s remaining 8 tracks are all variations on the same theme of what has come before them, however that would be narrow-minded pessimism. While admittedly inconsistent, variety is adequate via a slower cut (the shimmering ‘Love in Vain’), female vocal assistance (the title track) and a misguided stab at synth-pop (‘Tonight’). Furthermore, ‘At War with the Sun’ and ‘Frisk’ see The Big Pink find a nice mid-way point between their wall of sound shoegaze and melodic indie-pop that is most likely where the band’s future will lie.

Even when The Big Pink misses the mark, no-one can accuse them of being boring since there is always something happening in the background… So much so that one could be forgiven for practically ignoring Furze’s Richard Ashcroft like vocals that satisfactorily slide through varying degrees of tone, register & volume depending on the individual song’s requirements. And what of the lyrics? Well, considering the ambitious concept, it has to be viewed as an opportunity missed. Moments such as Velvet’s commitment shy “You call out my name for the love you need, which you won’t find in me”, and Love In Vain’s desperate plead of “If you really love him, tell me that you love him again” are simply too few and far between.

Pointers such as album ratings and highlight tracks seem superfluous for ‘A Brief History of Love’, since it will likely be one of the most polarizing LPs of the year. Mind-bogglingly original or pathetically derivative? Near-perfect variation or misguided compromise? Not melodic enough or too accessible? Cocky extravagance or potential-filled debut? The answer to these questions and more can only be answered by one person; you. At the very least, you can be certain of one thing; The Big Pink’s ‘A Brief History of Love’ will elicit a response of some kind. It’s just that kind of album.

Recommended Tracks: Frisk, Velvet, Dominos & At War with the Sun.



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user ratings (88)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2009



20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album came out yesterday in most countries and will be released in the U.S next Tuesday the 22nd.

I can’t wait to see what the ratings graph looks like in a couple of months time.


Prophet178
September 15th 2009



6397 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, this album is going to be big, Dominos is brilliant.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2009



20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Instead of recommended tracks, I was going to put the following:

Best Track: Dominos
Worst Track: Dominos

The song is definitely a conversation starter!

Prophet178
September 15th 2009



6397 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's streaming here too: http://musicfromthebigpink.com/

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2009



20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, thanks for that link Alex. I guess that I shouldn't make every American wait a week to find out what all the hype is about. Then again, pretty much all of the hype is coming from 1 particular country... & it is not the USA!

plane
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2009



6094 Comments


Dominos is really awful. Something tells me the album isn't far off gauging by your review (very good though).

sgrevs
September 15th 2009



698 Comments


I've heard Dominos heaps on the radio, not a fan. I've heard a few other songs too and they weren't especially interesting either. Good review but.

Prophet178
September 15th 2009



6397 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No problem Davey. Have you heard Sweet Trip's You Will Never Know Why ? It's kind of similar.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2009



20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Lewis, I believe the word you used in the forums was "abominable". Like I said, that song will polarize big time and the album won't be far behind. It would not surprise me if this ended up on some 'Year-End' lists and it would not surprise me if this ended up nowhere near 'Year-End' lists.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2009



20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks sgrevs. It was a tricky review to write and I was not initially certain I was up to it, so your commenst are appreciated.

Alex, I have never heard of the group, let alone that song.

Douglas
September 15th 2009



9098 Comments


Dominos gives me the irrites

Digging: James Vincent McMorrow - Post Tropical

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2009



20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You know Dougie, as much as I have heard that word you just used many times, I've never seen it spelt out. I wonder if you have done so correctly.

Anyway, for those that hate 'Dominos', don't necessarily disocunt the album because of it. It (along with 'Tonight') do stand out from the crowd by a fair degree.

Willie
Moderator
September 15th 2009



15919 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hey. You reviewed something I want to check out. My buddies in hell must be enjoying the snow ;) ... love the album cover, by the way.

Digging: Nero Di Marte - Derivae

PuddlesPuddles
September 15th 2009



4772 Comments


The album cover alone wants me to check it out.

Damn you being staff, Davey. Now I can't pos. How will you know how much I'm aroused.

Tits McGee
September 15th 2009



1876 Comments


aw man this was my ex-girlfriends nickname

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
September 15th 2009



3766 Comments


nice

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

AggravatedYeti
September 15th 2009



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I kind of want this...

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
September 15th 2009



7328 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Excellent review as always davey, your track picks were spot on imo. I was surprised by how much I liked this, especially as the first two songs were pretty average, and my rating might increase with more listens.

klap
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2009



10333 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

advisor at my work really dug this, will be getting soon

Digging: Literature - Chorus

Masochist
September 15th 2009



8012 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Great review, got me interested. Sounds like these guys could become The Feeling of 2009 (vague pun not intended).

Anyone catch the visual irony of the comparison between this band (The Big Pink) and the album 'Loveless'?

Digging: He Is Legend - Heavy Fruit



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