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A Brief History of Love (Bonus Track Version)

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Album Review

On their debut album, A Brief History of Love, the Big Pink immerse themselves in all aspects of the first wave of shoegaze. The duo of Robbie Furze and Milo Cordell have doubtlessly made a complete study of the guitar music coming out of their native U.K. in the late '80s and early '90s and worked to build their sound into an impressive conglomeration of influences that's made up of components like the proggy excess of the Catherine Wheel, the guitar overload of My Bloody Valentine, the drum loops and dance elements of Chapterhouse, the dark, industrial sheen of Curve, and the epic sweep of the Verve but with plenty of modern production tricks. The influence extends to the vocals, which recall the expansiveness of the Verve's Richard Ashcroft rather than the dreaminess of the Thames Valley shoegaze contingent. Seeing (and hearing) all these comparisons may make it easy for some to instantly write the band off as record collectors or scene fetishists with no ideas of their own, but that would be a mistake. Yes, they are derivative. Yes, they are rehashing the past. This is key, though. They write really good songs and make them sound really good, too. That's the neat trick that allows them to escape the retro-revivalist label and that's why A Brief History of Love should appeal to both fans of shoegaze days gone by and the people who are still discovering the past and digging other groups who, like the Big Pink, are keeping shoegaze alive. The best songs on the album would do all right if stacked up against the work of their idols. Take "Dominos," for example. The thundering drums combine with an instantly memorable hook, the kind that makes you want to sing along before the first chorus is half over, to make it soar. "At War with the Sun," too, has a thrilling chorus and an uplifting feel, "Tonight" rollicks and rolls like a goofy cross between Jane's Addiction at their most pop and Medicine at their frothiest, and "Love in Vain" is a heartbreaking ballad that sounds like a second cousin of "Drugs Don't Work." The whole album isn't perfect; there are a few moments where things get a little predictable and the production is a bit slick, but these are minor concerns because the songwriting and performances paper right over the flaws. A Brief History of Love is a strong, sometimes really, really good debut, and a nice addition to the shoegaze canon.

Customer Reviews

Pop with a dark heart

Let's hear it for Big Pink and it's no coincidence some of these tracks are produced by a charter member of My Bloody Valentine. "Brief History of Love" is dark, melodic pop with a savage undertone. Like "My Bloody Valentine" there are layers and dissonances, a sharp, incisive intelligence that informs just about every track. "Dominoes" is so immediately likable and the beat is as infectious as a virulent flu. Not to be missed...

WOW!

Great MUSIC!!! It's not often I find a CD I don't motify when I add it to my favorites playlist.... this ones perfect just the way it is.

Pas mauvais!

Après deux extraits...J'ai eu l'impression d'avoir tout entendu

Biography

Formed: London, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

London residents Robbie Furze and Milo Cordell formed the Big Pink in their home studio, where the two musicians began mixing the droning soundscapes of Spacemen 3 and My Bloody Valentine with the lush electronics of M83. Furze had previously cut his teeth as the guitarist for Panic DHH and Alec Empire, while Cordell's day job (founder and owner of Merok Records) saw him nurturing the talents of the Teenagers, Klaxons, and other British tastemakers. After experimenting with distorted noise and melodic...
Full bio