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Now Hear This: Big Blue World - Fitzsimon and Brogan


Rating: ****1/2

Formerly of the band, Pretty Blue Gun, Neil Fitzsimon and Bee Brogan decided to venture out on their own to begin making, as they call it, "pure pop for now people." Seems simple enough, right?

I come into this review pretty unaware of the music of Fitzsimon and Brogan. But I do like pop music. I am a now person. What could possibly go wrong?

From the one-sheet I'm reading they're influenced by some of my faves (The Beatles, Elvis Costello, Bowie) so that further bodes well for my listening experience.

Bottom line is this: I'm gonna hop in the bath and throw this on. I'm gonna make notes of what I hear. I'm then going to write them down for you in a summarized format below.

Be back after the jump.

Watch the lyric video for "Big Blue World" on Youtube below:

The title track leads us off. "Big Blue World" is a great opener. Brogan reminds me of Debbie Harry and Pat Benatar and I love them both. Solid pop chops on display with great guitars. We're off to a promising start. "Girl in a Gilded Cage" is throwback 80's perfection. A lot of bands try to capture this sound but it comes off unauthentic and disingenuous. Fitzsimon and Brogan, on the other hand, nail it. "(Very Last Day In) Clown Town" is next and it has more of a hard rock edge to it. They do this sound well also and it was a good change-of-pace. Solid. "The Only Girl" shows further diversity with almost surf rock guitars and that familiar 80's melody-line. "The Wounds are Healing" slows things down a bit. It's a decent tune but not my favorite. Could be the effect of the bar being so high thus far. "God Given Right" is another rocker. Great guitars and more Benatar-ish vocals. This could be a Joan Jett song. "Snipers Target" and "Sea of Love" are both melodic and lovely with earnest and thought-provoking lyrics. Solid album tracks. "One Minute Every Hour" has single written all over it. A lovely ballad in the same vein as Berlin's "Take My Breath Away". Just gorgeous. "Blue Velvet" is lyrically my favorite song on the album. Just great songwriting on this one. We are closing strong here. "The Downing Pool" sounds like it was ripped straight from the Garden State soundtrack. James Mercer would be proud of this one. "Scared of the Dark" starts with some of the best jangly riffs on the entire LP. Another rock solid pop-rock song. "Revolution of the Mind" is the finale and it's a good one. Vocally one of the best on the record, it's a fitting end to one helluva album.

One of my favorite albums of the year, Fitzsimon and Brogan capture 80's pop music in 2018 as well as any other band I've ever heard. It's modern sounding enough to remind me of the Shins and the Killers at times but to be honest a lot of the time I felt like I took a time machine back to 1984. That ain't a bad thing. Very highly recommended.

 

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