It just gets better. . . BBT EEv2

ndvby Erik Heter

It Just Gets Better …

As great as EE Pt. 1 was, BBT might have exceeded its excellence with EE Pt. 2.  The second half of this double album opens with the fantastic ‘East Coast Racer’, which is the only epic-length piece of the entire set.  It’s a doozy too, with a lot of great dynamics and enough change to keep it interesting over its entirety.  It’s my favorite piece of the EE set.

The next track, ‘Swan Hunter’, has a very melancholy feel, but also has some of the best lyrics on the album.  This is one of the more emotional pieces on the album.

‘Worked Out’ follows, and has a more upbeat feel, and a great chorus.  It also has a great instrumental break that includes some great flute playing and a Tull-like feel, and closes out with some good old fashioned proggy synth.

‘Leopards’ has a chamber music-like beginning before settling into acoustic guitar on top of some violin.  It has a very lazy, easy feel too it, and gives me an image of lounging outdoors under a tree on a sunny and mild spring day.

The instrumental portion toward the end of ‘Keeper of Abbeys’ has an excellent mix of sitar and violin, and illustrates something at which BBT excels like no other – taking instruments not typically associated with music coming from England (e.g., the sitar here, the banjo on ‘Uncle Jack’) and integrating them into something that has an unmistakably English sound.

‘The Permanent Way’ reprises a few themes and lyrics from ‘Hedgerow’ and ‘The Great Rebreather’ and serve as a good reminder that EE Pt. 2 is part of a larger whole.  In between there is some great proggy organ playing,

‘Curator of Butterflies’ closes out the album.  Slow and mellow with a lot of string, it includes some nice guitar work to close out the song.

bbt ee2Overall, this is another outstanding effort, and will be at or near the top of many “Best of 2013” lists before it’s all over.  I might quibble with ‘Curator’ being the closing track instead of its predecessor, but that’s a minor quibble to be sure.  For me, this is at least as good as EE Pt. 1, and with the inclusion of ‘East Coast Racer’ at the beginning, I’d have to say its maybe a bit better.  In either case, it’s a must-own, along with its counterpart.

About Brad Birzer

By day, I'm a father of seven and husband of one. By night, I'm an author and prog rocker. Interests: prog rock, cultural criticisms, Macs, history, hiking, and science fiction.

Posted on March 4, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Great stuff Erik :-)

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  2. Erik..you are like me, you get straight to the point (well i think i do !)…great stuff…i must be the only person in the world that thinks Curator ‘works’ brilliantly as the last track…thats the beauty of music appreciation :)
    Ian

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    • Ian – I just read your (excellent) review, and yes, we both did get straight to the point on this one. One aspect of these BBT albums where I have a bit of envy for you and some of your other English counterparts is that you are immersed in the culture and history that gave inspiration to these songs and you probably ‘get it’ on a level that is more difficult to attain for those of us on this side of the Atlantic.

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      • Erik, immersed I am indeed ! Dry stone walls, factories, coal mines, disused railways, old shepherds shelters, hills, trails, northern post-industrial town, on the edge of beautiful countryside riddled with engineering excellence …. a fantastic place and fantastic to have the work(s) of BBT to accompany the atmosphere and community :-)

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