Great Big Sea

Something Beautiful

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On Something Beautiful, Great Big Sea starts putting more emphasis on the "rock" in folk-rock, and the results are impressive. The departure of bassist Darrell Power led the remaining three founding members to add bassist Murray Foster (of Moxy Früvous) and drummer Kris MacFarlane to their lineup for these recording sessions, and the resulting sound is more muscular than has been typical of their studio work in the past: "Shines Right Through Me" and "When I Am King" are both straight-up rockers that open the program with a bang, and there is also a fine cover version of Runrig's "Pride of the Summer" (here titled "Beat the Drum") as well as a gorgeous rendition of the traditional "John Barbour." Great Big Sea's vocal approach is as charmingly plainspoken as ever, though the vocal harmonies are a bit more intricate on this album than before, perhaps thanks to Foster's presence. The album ends with a joyful set of dance tunes, "Heel and Toe Polka" and "Around the House." Highly recommended.

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