Newfoundland's favorite sons return with their hardest-rocking collection of folk-pop yet, thanks to an invorgorated rhythm section and the band's characteristically bouyant performance. For Something Beautiful, former Moxy Fruvous bassist Murray Foster melds with new skinsman Kris MacFarlane, giving a rock-solid tidal pull to Great Big Sea's, well, oceanic musical exuberance. The mix of traditional and traditional-sounding originals is so adept that it's hard to tell where the Scottish folk songs end and Alan Doyle's earnest ballads begin. With the new fellows in tow, GBS is free to romp from reels and jigs ("Chafe's Celidh") to full-on Celtic punk ("Helmethead"), with plenty of affecting story-songs in between.
Performance CreditsGreat Big Sea Primary Artist,Track Performer
Murray Foster Bass,Vocals
Michael Phillip Wojewoda Percussion,Keyboards,Vocals
Sean McCann Guitar,Percussion,Vocals,Bodhran,Group Member
Andrew Cooper Trombone
Kris MacFarlane Guitar,Percussion,Drums,Piano-Accordion
Alan Doyle Banjo,Bouzouki,Guitar,Mandolin,Vocals,Group Member
Bob Hallett Banjo,Bouzouki,Fiddle,Accordion,Concertina,Pipe,Vocals,Human Whistle,Mandola,Group Member
Patch Boyle Trumpet
Chris Stringer Percussion,Keyboards
Technical CreditsGreat Big Sea Arranger
Michael Phillip Wojewoda Producer,Engineer
Louis C. Thomas Management
Sean McCann Composer
Alan Doyle Composer
Bob Hallett Composer
Chris Stringer Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Something Beautiful based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
The seventh album from this Newfoundland band, the second for the U.S. based Zoe/Rounder, rocks more heavily than their earlier releases. The songs are still hugely melodic, with well executed harmonies and backing vocals, but the bass and drums exert themselves more fully, and even the singing has some extra punch. The band's Celtic influences often move more to the edges, influencing the melodies and arrangements (such as the rhythmic backing vocal of "Beat the Drum") in more subtle shades. ¶ On the surface, these songs sound like the sort of rousing arena rockers turned out by Bare Naked Ladies and Dave Matthews, but at their core are the sort of progressions brought to rock 'n' roll by Black 47 and The Pogues. The traditional instruments come to the fore now and again, such as for the quick spinning hockey reel, "Helmethead" the sea-faring waltz, "Lucky Me," and the accordion-and-whistle polka, "Chafe's Ceilidh." ¶ Longtime fans will decry the band's growing affinity for the mainstream, manifested most notably in their employ of Bare Naked Ladies producer Michael Phillip Wojewoda to helm these sessions. But they're a really good mainstream band, weaving threads of their native Newfoundland into music whose appeal is broadened without being denuded. These songs may not resound throughout North American pubs, but they'll please mainstream rock fans looking for something with a bit of a twist.