Fourteen years after their last album -- and 12 years after the death of their lead singer/songwriter Stuart Adamson -- Big Country reunited to record The Journey. Well, "reunion" may be a bit of a stretch, as the only original member to appear on The Journey is guitarist Bruce Watson, who is joined by his guitarist son Jamie, bassist Derek Forbes, drummer Mark Brzezicki, and Mike Peters, former leader of the Alarm. Unsurprisingly, The Journey often recalls the widescreen vistas of the Alarm, sounding a bit more anthemic and forceful than Big Country, although there are certainly elements of classic BC here. "In a Broken Promise Land" elliptically refers to "In a Big Country," the same song is quoted in a synth line on "The Journey," and "Another Country" has a bit of that E-Bowed guitar roar, too, but where Adamson-era Big Country contained traces of arty new wave flair to offset their earnestness, this is all very serious rock & roll, big-sounding songs about big things. These are Peters signatures and he sounds at home here with the reconstituted Big Country, with everybody on board creating something of a throwback to the super-serious arena rock of the late '80s. It's not fun but it's not meant to be: it's a bunch of lifers in their middle age reconnecting with the things they found important back then. If that only appeals to the diehards, well, there's a reason for that: they're the only other ones who will find this surging alt-arena rock as vital, as necessary as the bandmembers themselves. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
50062OBig Country - The Journey (CD)http://oldies.scdn5.secure.raxcdn.com/i/boxart/large/87/64/884501876483.jpg?v=315.9814.38USDInStock/Genre/Pop-Rock/Music Categories/Rock-and-PopQ (Magazine): 3 stars out of 5 -- "[THE JOURNEY] takes the plaid-all-over formula of '80s BIG COUNTRY and makes something new out of it..."MRI AssociatedCDPop-RockBig-Country2013-04-23
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