Big Village

Up

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Big Village calls their style "tribal pop," which basically means that they produce funky rock with quirky lyrics, world music influences, full, female vocalist harmonies, and a great rhythm section with some African drums. If you can imagine a cross between the Talking Heads of "Stop Making Sense" (only less weird) and the Brand New Heavies (only without horns), you'll get the general idea. On the group's third album Up, singers Rachel-Ann Cross and Jaqui MacMillan, backed up by a stomping, soaring orchestra led by bassist Henry Cross, prove that hope is still alive, at least in the Washington D.C. suburb of Takoma Park, MD. Our ladies of song show that they are nothing but attitude -- good attitude, for a change. The lyrics are clever, as on the rhyming, silly song "Whena, Whena" or the poetic "Woman on the Way to Heaven." Just when you're wondering where that world music influence went, it comes out in full force in the passionate Arabic-rock number "Euphoria."

This is danceable, upbeat music for people who are attuned to the world around them. A gem.