Grand Tour by Big Big Train

Grand Tour
| |

After a decade of writing and singing songs inspired by the English countryside, Big Big Train has set its sights on the rest of the world. Named after the trips around Europe that young men and women of means used to take after finishing their education, Grand Tour is exactly that—a journey around the world, through time and space.

After a short, meditative introduction (“Novum Organum”), the tempo and excitement increase with “Alive,” a celebration of life that leads us to the journey that we’re about to take. On our way we visit Leonardo Da Vinci (“The Florentine”), ancient Rome (a trio of songs), Shakespeare (“Ariel”), and the outer reaches of the galaxy (“Voyager”) before returning home (“Homesong”).

With three of the songs over 13 minutes, this is expansive music. Big Big Train uses catchy melodies, complex arrangements and outstanding musicianship to evoke the subject of each song in a way that invites repeated listening. Grand Tour is an outstanding album. (English Electric Recordings)

About the Author

Robert J. Keeley is professor of education at Calvin College and director of distance learning at Calvin Seminary.