For those who enjoy Genesis of either the Gabriel or Collins periods, Big Big Train's English Boy Wonders is an album for you. Packed with jazzy stylings, plenty of melody with the keyboards and vocals in the driver's seat, there is a lot of depth here, with lots of emotions expressed throughout.
I found lots to like here in melodies on English Boy Wonders. With the keyboards leading the way, there are lots of neat little jazz interludes, mixed with pop sensibilities to warm even the coldest heart. Yet there are some decent guitar driven numbers among the lighter songs, one of my favorites is the short rocker "Pretty Mom". "Out of It" is another guitar driven rocker I enjoyed, yet it also still contains plenty of nuance and a subtle qualities reminiscent of King Crimson and Marillion
There is a definite alternative flavor to Big Big Train, which in general I have no problem with. A little more troublesome for me is whiny 'emo' styled lyrics, and any album that features as it's theme "a 'doomed relationship' treads dangerously close to the edge of 'whiny-ville'. Not my favorite cup of tea when it comes to what I look for in music. I much prefer a diversion from everyday issues like 'doomed relationships' when I listen to music.
Still there is plenty of worthy music and feeling here, especially for fans of acts like Spock's Beard and Marillion. Lyrics aside, I did indeed enjoy the music and enjoyed the vocals just fine, even if the theme expressed is not a favorite subject.
1. Big Empty Skies (4:22)
2. Brushed Aside (5:38)
3. A Giddy Thing (5:16)
4. 28 Years (2:25)
5. Pretty Mom (3:26)
6. Out Of It (5:58)
7. Cloudless And Starry And Still (3:33)
8. Albion Perfide (10:24)
9. Right To The End Of The World Tra-la (1:56)
10.The Shipping Forecast (10:46)
11.Mr. Boxgroveman (6:12)
12.Reaching For John Dowland (8:14)
13.Fell Asleep (3:36)