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A Great Big World delivers great organic pop-rock

Campus Correspondent

Published: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 22:01

In a culture seemingly more interested in overpowering bass and floor kicks, is there any demand for organic pop/rock within the mainstream circuit? The band, A Great Big World, believes there is with their new record “Is There Anybody Out There?”

Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino, the two members of the pop duo, met at New York University and shortly after started playing shows under Ian Axel’s name, but after their initial label deal folded, they went back to the drawing board and reformed as A Great Big World. You can find lyrics that inspired the band’s name in their innocently truthful song “Cheer Up” in which Axel sings, “It’s a great big world and there’s no need to cry.” Through adversity shown in their breakthrough track “Say Something” featuring Christina Aguilera they were still able to see the upsides to being alive.

With uplifting lyrics, heavy piano and pop-sensibilities, innocence within an occasionally cold world is found with their new album. The album meets pessimism with optimism, synths with piano and “being cool” with being proud. Shown in their song “Everyone Is Gay” and “There Is an Answer,” it is obvious that A Great Big World is creating music to spread a message of acceptance and love.

The popularity of this up-and-coming New York based duo is a contradiction to all that is considered popular in the music industry. So what makes it work? Their undeniably catchy hooks and wholehearted emotions when singing them.

Honestly, I am a fan of literally every song on this record. Call me bias, for my favorite genre is piano pop/rock, but A Great big World executes the genre at a point close to perfection. It is refreshing to hear such honest music in a day and age in which acoustic over electronic instruments is a risk in the industry.

Noteworthy tracks on the record include “Rockstar,” “Already Home,” “Say Something” and “This is the New Year.”

From the exuberantly explosive track, “Rockstar,” to their more sensitive and quiet song, “Say Something,” the range of emotions found within their compositions ultimately take the listener on a journey through they eyes of two wide-eyed, 21st century young adults just trying to make a difference.

Tracks like “I Really Want It” and “Rockstar” alludes to their ambition and drive to make their mark. In “Rockstar,” Axel sings “Take a ticket and get out of line” explaining that no time should be wasted waiting for an opportunity to strike. A Great Big World has surely gotten off of line and paid their dues to get to the point where it’s safe to say that there are people out there ready to hear their incredible debut album.


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