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Big & Rich - Big & Rich

2006-03-29 20:25

Big & Rich are skilled in their silliness, taking up where Dr Hook and the Medicine Men left off (to our great relief) but not nearly attaining the satirical polish or musical depth of someone like Frank Zappa.

The country duo met a few years, and began working together, with Big Kenny writing most of the songs.

Big & Rich lightheartedly extol the romantic virtues of cowboyhood with a selective social conscience, and plenty of womanising. Song titles like "Save a horse (ride a cowboy)" say it all.

The result is Alt Country with a dominant rock 'n roll sound. It opens with a preacher talking in biblebasher style about country music: "Brothers and sisters! We're here for one reason and one reason alone. To share our love of music! I present to you country music, without prejudice!"

A lot of Alt Country tends to wear a bit thin, but Big & Rich are actually more sincere than satirical, evoking a pleased smile rather than a laugh. The catchy "Kick my ass" is so easy to like that you might find yourself absentmindedly singing it at slightly inappropriate times, like at work. "Why does everybody want to kick my ass / I'm just trying to have a little fun for all the ones who can't".

And if you don't get the in-jokes, Horse of a Different Color still works, for the music's sake.

20% inventive and 80% pleasing, Big & Rich play lots of rock, a smattering of rap, blues, and selective doses of a few other musical styles that combine to play tricks on your aural expectations. The risky gamble pays off, mainly because never for a second do Big & Rich completely deviate from their pleasing, singable musical formula.The production is rich with layered vocals in straightforward harmonies, articulated by the backing of acoustic guitars and stadium style percussion.

High-class campfire music this. You may want to learn a few tracks before your next holiday; just as insurance against that moment when all your friends get revoltingly drunk and start chanting "She's coming round the mountain when she comes."

- Jean Barker

What makes this duo so unique is their flawless ability to take traditional country themes and bring them into all the forms of music that we hear today (and yet still keep it country).
- Christine Bohorfoush -

Sometimes it's fine to just be really silly. Luckily, for Big & Rich, since Horse of a Different Color is quite possibly one of the silliest sincere albums released this year.

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