Review Xtra – The Big Glasshouse : In the Beginning

in-the-beginning-the-big-glasshouseTHE BIG GLASSHOUSE : In The Beginning. (www. thebigglasshouse.mycylex.co.uk)

The Big Glasshouse describe their music as “dancey pop sounds with spiritual lyrics and melodies that you hear once and then remain in your memory for a long time” and it’s fair to say that they deliver – the opening track “So Amazing” setting the tone well. The use of the word “dancey” is appropriate as it’s more swagger and sway than rave (which suited me fine) and lyrically their description of “spiritual” is spot on (the repeated “Jesus you’re my hero” from “Be My Guide”, for example). The songwriting is good (and catchy – just try and ignore “What Goes On” while it plays in the background) and the performance/recording/production really breathes life into the songs. Their sound overall reminded me of Tears For Fears, Thompson Twins, Icicle Works, Orange Juice and suchlike (with a hint of Jeff Lynne on the vocals) so I guess “80s pop dance” would be a good description, with the drum sound and keyboard stabs probably pointing me that way. And then, just as you think you’ve got the measure of the album, they round off with guitar-based blues boogie on “A Fool’s Awoken” and “Living In A Glasshouse” complete with the same production and songwriting values, as if just to demonstrate their versatility. The album concludes with two bonus tracks. I wasn’t too sure about the instrumental version of “We Are One”, although it did show how well put together the backing is. The extended “Living In A Glasshouse” was worth inclusion, though. Best track: “You’re Not Alone”.
7/10 Paul Ganney.

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