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Laurie Anderson - Big Science CD (album) cover

BIG SCIENCE

Laurie Anderson

 

Crossover Prog

4.02 | 45 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

siLLy puPPy
4 stars Having fallen for the bizarre charm of LAURIE ANDERSON with "Bright Red" I recently lucked out and found her near complete studio output at our used music store for a very nice price. Having wondered if I only like her because of the Eno collaboration on that album, I thought i'd give her another try. I am surprised that I like her debut release BIG SCIENCE because when I listened to a couple tracks on YouTube a while back I was left unimpressed. Well the lesson for me is that never judge a book by only reading two pages. They happened to be the two tracks that I like the least. The rest of the album is very good. I am always impressed when an artist can carve out their own unique little nook in the musical universe and LAURIE ANDERSON has done just that and not only has she done so but she successfully throws together a diverse bunch of sounds, rhythms and melodies that play well together.

The first "From The Air" is one of tracks I didn't like when I heard it on YouTube, but now I find it humorous as i've warmed up to her sound. Next up is the title track where the album gets interesting. LAURIE displays her unique ability to use spoken word with strange musical backings. On here we get a drony synth line with sticks and harmonicas and percussion. Not gonna go into track by track but throughout this album we get bagpipes, bongo drums, saxophones, accordions, farfisa bass, casiotone, bottles, handclaps, piccolo, clarinet, rototoms, marimba and several instruments that LAURIE constructed herself. Despite being minimalist in terms of composition, there is great diversity in the sound textures which has made this a highly sampled album by hip hop artists.

For example, on her huge hit "O Superman" which actually hit #2 on the UK charts, she constructed a specially modified violin that has a recording head on it that makes weird sounds. She also uses a vocoder to alter her voice. Her lyrics are semi-hilarious and semi-serious just like her vocal style is kind of a semi-spoken, semi-sung type. This is a very strange album made all the stranger by realizing it came out in the 80s when there was nothing even remotely close to this. In fact there probably still isn't. LAURIE ANDERSON has found a place where no one else has dared to tread. Hypnotic, melodic, profound and downright silly. All these adjectives come to mind when i'm listening to this. An excellent taste of the avant-garde art pop that works on different levels.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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