|2010||English Electric Recordings||EERCD009|
|2017||English Electric Recordings||EERCD009||CD (Remastered)|
I am a fan of Big Big Train. I like all of their albums, but my favorites are Bard, Gathering Speed and at the top of my list, their latest to date : The Underfall Yard.
Being a member of their mailing list I got the chance to purchase Far Skies Deep Time before it is out for the general public. The band does not call it a new CD (even though it lasts more than 40 minutes)because it's a collection of songs that were not originally meant to be together.
The first track "Master of Time" is my favorite Anthony Phillips song, even though it is only available as a demo on the CD version of The Geese and the Ghost. I'm glad that Big Big Train did not try to copy the Anthony Phillips version, but decided to make it their own, while still remaining faithfull to the emotions in the song. A great start indeed. The next track "Fat Billy Shouts Mine" is pretty close to the songs on The Underfall Yard and would have fitted well on that album. "British Racing Green" somewhat reminds me of some of the more languishing songs by Marillion (for example an song like "Somewhere Else". This is a nice change for Big Big Train. "Brambling" is yet another great song in the Big Big Train style. The last song "The Wide Open Sea" is the "pièce de résistance", an Epic lenght track clocking at more than 17 minutes. The story is about the great Belgian singer Jacques Brel. I was somewhat expecting musical references to Brel in that song (Brel is a singer I know very well). It is not the case. Nothing in "The Wide Open Sea" makes me think of Brel's music. Perhaps the band was emotionally inspired by Brel while writing "The Wide Open Sea", because the song is just great, one of the best ever recorded by Big Big Train, and David Longdon gives an incredible singing performance on it.
In conclusion, Far Skies Deep Time really delivers. It's a great album and my candidate for album of the year. Highly recommended indeed.