Big Music

alt=”Music”MusicEpic music isn’t just the preserve of opera and classical, there have been some recent albums that bring grandeur and intensity to popular music.

Sometimes music needs to be “bombastic, overblown, wilfully obscure, magnificent, portentous, histrionic, eccentric and mental” (as in this review of Muse):

Muse have made a ridiculous, overblown, ambitious and utterly brilliant album, with more thrills than their previous three put together, which, in an alternative universe, would leave them at the end of an epic lineage connecting the greatest bands of all time: Queen, Roxy Music, Ziggy (not his mere human form of Bowie), ABC, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Adam And The Ants and Queens Of The Stone Age.  NME review

Muse’s most recent album Black Holes and Revelations is a masterclass in epic. The British band was here for the Big Day Out earlier this year. The album is driving, relentless, power rock. The track “Knights of Cydonia” is a stomping finale.

Rufus Wainwright’s Release the Stars has been on high rotate at my house. It has ambition and wit combined with delicious music and orchestration. If you are a newcomer to his vocal stylings, and want even more drama you might want to go back to his Want One and Want Two cds.

Arcade Fire’s Neon Bible is full of songs built on a massive scale, building up to crescendos and tension, with layers of sound and voices. Pitchfork Media review

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