Is there anybody out there?
New music lurks in the shadows of television scenes and hit movie commercials. This is especially true for A Great Big World whose debut CD, “Is There Anybody Out There?” released Tuesday.
Allowing myself to really enjoy new music is a long process. There are times where I’ll need to listen to a few songs maybe 30 times before they finally start to sound enjoyable. In this case, it only took one listen of “Say Something” to do the trick.
Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino, the duo who is known as A Great Big World, has been active since 2012. The two have had a few songs appear on TV shows such as “One Tree Hill” and “Glee.”
Today’s top hits seem to have taken a small detour down folk lane in the terms of style and sound, similar to Of Monsters and Men and Mumford and Sons. This band’s sound is no exception. However, it has a few twists and surprises.
“Say Something” has worked its way into my heart by giving words of truth about love lost and moving on with our lives. The sweet sounds of piano and violin fill cars, homes and headphones around the country as we sing along, hoping to grasp the meaning and somehow apply it or attempt to soak it in even more. The single is one of the few slower songs that appear on the CD. However, if soft ballads are the only things you’re seeking, you won’t find your pleasure here.
The duo takes its creation in various directions when it comes to the additional 12 tracks on the album, one of which is a reprise of “Say Something” with singer Christina Aguilera.
Because of Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton’s rendition of the song on “The X Factor,” someone was sure to grab the opportunity of a duet. Although the winning couple managed to capture the world with their version, Christina makes hers sound a bit airy and uncomfortable.
The contrasting tones and styles of the tracks are a breath of fresh air.
Most of them include the use of piano while there are a few that ride alongside the sound of a nice, upbeat gospel song with a long page of humorous lyrics. Yes, folks, I said it. “Land of Opportunity” and “Everyone Is Gay” had me questioning what I was actually listening to, but they’re catchy. There are no blurred lines when it comes to the meanings.
There seems to be a level mixture of tracks for the moments you need to settle down and ponder life as well as the pick-me-up you may need after a long day of class or work. “This Is the New Year” and “Cheer Up” are moderately upbeat tracks able to wipe away a downcast mood and replace it the urge to pull on your shoes and skip down the sidewalk.
Listening to them reminded me of a few artists who journey down the road less traveled of catchy, upbeat and a bit silly. Although their paths seem to be covered in fallen trees and the sun has disappeared from sight, I believe this duo will hold their own candle and skip right on into the future of music.
The times are changing and “There is an Answer” to the preceding question. It’s a great big world out there. “Shorty, Don’t Wait” to explore it.
Story by Katrina Yarbrough, Staff writer