A Great Big World (made up of the duo Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino) released their first major record label album yesterday to what seems to be great initial success on iTunes – currently #1. The group has been together since college and came roaring into the music scene earlier this year when a song of theirs was covered on the Fox hit show Glee (“This is the New Year”). Earlier this fall the duo toped the charts worldwide with their hit “Say Something” particularly the version featuring Christina Aguilera which had it’s debut on the NBC hit show The Voice.
With only hearing their first single off of the album “Say Something” I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from their sound. It was a pleasant surprise to hear that not only do they use piano as the lead instrument on their ballads and slower tunes, but also jam out on some of their more pop inspired tracks. While listening I found myself making references to artists like Sara Bareilles and Billy Joel who have coupled strong songwriting with great musical chops to create a dynamic that is refreshing in the current pop music scene. Listening through the album A Great Big World seemed to have a strong sense of who they are and who they want to be which was nice to hear from such a “young” group! Below are some of the favorite tracks from the album!
“Say Something” – this track has obviously made quite the entrance into the world of radio and pop music. The songwriting is true and the lead vocals leave no stone unturned when it comes to perfecting melody and performance. “Say Something” is truly a standout not only on this album, but also on current pop charts.
“Shorty Don’t Wait” – one of my personal favorites on the album. This track, unlike many others, is guitar driven. The acoustic driven sound coupled with a “campfire sing along” chorus gives this track a distinct sound on the album – a sound I would love to hear more of!
“This is the New Year” – making it’s debut in May of 2013 this track is meant to inspire it’s listener really anytime of the year. With lyrics that scream “fresh start” (“A new beginning, You made a promise, We are the voices, This is the New Year”) this track will get your heart pumping and inspire you to think of all the ways to start fresh and make it count. This track is something that will be in my playlist for years to come.
Overall the album is good, not quite great, but good. I found myself struggling to figure out who they were trying to reach with their music. While being heavily played on pop radio it makes sense that they are reaching out to a younger generation, but after listening to tracks like “Land of Opportunity” and “Cheer Up” their writings seems juvenile. While this can be refreshing from time to time I found myself just generally wanting to skip those tracks and get to something with a bit more depth. I am interested to see where A Great Big World ends up in the coming years. As of now they have my - and the pop music world’s – attention and seemingly, support.