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Big Little Lions

Alive and Well

Review by Gary Hill

While this isn't exactly my usual kind of music, I like this album a lot. In fact, it's likely to make my "best of 2018" list. The vocal arrangement on this is what really delivers the magic. Musically it moves between folk music, rock, pop and even country. The combination of male and female vocals are on this work so well. This is just an entertaining, feel good kind of album.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Find Your Tribe
Alternating between stripped back and powered up sounds, this is an energetic and catchy number. It's more or less a pop based rocker. The vocal harmonies and arrangement are a big driving factor on this tune. The rhythm section is another of the standout parts of the cut. This is a great welcoming number bringing the set in with style.
Against the Wall
Celtic textures drive this cut. It has some cool violin work and a dramatic percussive concept. This is another catchy and fun tune with great vocal harmonies. While this is less pop oriented, it's no less accessible. There is clearly a lot of roots music built into this thing.
Alive and Well
Another with a lot of pop built into it, this is folk based in a lot of ways, too. It's another classy cut that works really well.
Static
Starting mellow with mostly voices and acoustic guitar, this cut works outward into an almost jazzy folk arrangement for the first verse. I like the alternating verses with male and female vocals. This piece grows in some interesting ways.
Come This Far
A bouncy kind of groove, this is another fun tune. Again the vocal arrangement brings the real magic to it.
Our Turn
I love the drama and magic of the acoustic guitar basis for this tune. The vocals bring it home from there. This has a nice balance between the mellower stuff and the more rocking. This is another strong cut. It also shows a bit of a different side to the musical concept here.
Broken
A mellower number, this is classy and provides some great variety. It's piano and voice at its heart with little else added to the mix.
Disguise
This time we're brought into a country styled piece. It's a nice bit of variety.
Unicorn
Another bouncy kind of feel good track, this is fun. While this isn't a big change from the bulk of the set, it's particularly tasty.
Big Mistake
A more bouncy little number, this is fun stuff. It's quite rhythmic and has a bit of a down-home feel to it.
Pieces of Me
Mellower acoustic guitar based music starts this. The vocals come over that in gentle ways. I like the dream-like soaring quality to the later parts of this number.
Kind
There is a lot of roots music built into the mellow musical concepts on this piece. It grows outward with a real folk rock kind of basis. When it drops back to mellower sounds later there is some great intricate acoustic guitar work built into it.
Do Better
This is intricate and roots based. It has a nice vocal balance and arrangement. There are hints of country music, but overall this is probably closer to folk. It gets more energetic and pop rock based as it continues.
 
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