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Just bought a copy of Bic's new cd and being a huge fan of her first, I hate to say this is a big disappointment. I've so far only read good reviews but what do others think?

As usual her voice is magnificent but her songwriting on this cd really suffers in comparison to the first, IMHO. I've given it about 5 listens all the way through and after the first 4 songs it really falls away in quality.

There is as much filler on this cd as on your typical Paul McCartney release. Don't get me wrong - I'm a big McCartney fan, but I'm disappointed to see Bic settle for mediocrity so early in her career.

Am I being too harsh? Does anybody else feel this way?
Original Post
My very first impression hearing "Beautiful Collision" was, "This is so mellow...." I thought too mellow, especially compared with the first.
But then I listened to it again and kept listening to it and now I love it!

I don't really like her first album that much though, I always felt that some of the songs are great but then the album just kind of peeters out and the songs become annoying...maybe how you feel about her new one, I don't know!

I think that her song writing has vastly improved but then again she's older and more mature. I think that the album is very consistant; it is more subtle; I think it really shows her confidence as a song writer, singer, and performer. It is a departure in some ways, maybe not everyone will like it. I think it's gutsy in a way...She uses banjos(I remember when there was all this bru ha ha about Sophie B Hawkins using banjos on one of her albums - the record company didn't think that was commercial) she also has a song that is almost like a waltz... Her singing on this album is un-real, I love the way her vocals kind of lazily glide over the top of the music, though I think to sing in that kind of way is really hard. She really has "found her voice"
I played it for some of my girlfriend's this weekend, and they all really liked it and asked me who she was.

I know when I listen to it, I just get lost in the beauty of the music and her voice and I appreciate it that way...great for long walks. Smiler

I am enjoying it immensely , but that is just me Smiler

p.s. I would love to hear what other people think of it too....
Jenn - you're right, it *is* very mellow, which in my mind is not necessarily bad. I love the production and the use of non-traditional instruments (for a pop record anyway).

I guess the thing I find myself cringing over the most are some of the lyrics. They seem to cross the line from touching and sweet to sugary and sickly way too often for my taste.

I love the lyrics from Drive - I think her writing on that album was fresh and mature and original. The new songs strike me as being very similar to other artists, like she is suffering from a kind of identity crisis.

Funnily enough I feel the same about Beth Orton's new Daybreaker CD - loved her first two but her new one leaves me cold in the same way that Bic's does. Unique talent and creativity has made way for overly droll sugary music best suited to US commerical radio. Roll Eyes

Each to their own I guess . . Razzer
Actually, while I can understand why folks here so far have said the things they've said about Beautiful Collision, I disagree, and really like it....let me explain.

I heard somewhere that Bic had her entire 2nd album recorded and ready to go, then scrapped it and re-recorded it because she wasn't happy with it and thought it was too commercial. Right there, she earned major artistic credibility with me, and we would have bought it immediately regardless of reviews.

This album does not seem (at least for me) to be about maturity as much as it's about experimenting stylistically and working with people she's really respected over the years (d. Dobbyn, N. Finn, S. Steinberg). Some of the styles I heard were celtic, old standard, and alternative...whereas in my opinion her first album would classify almost solely as acoustic rock.

To me, her willingness to venture in those unlikely directions suggests maturity in itself; the experiments meet with an equal degree of success and failure, but I'm really glad she tried...I thought maybe that's WHY it was called "Beautiful Collision." She makes no bones about having a musical identity crisis, because she spends the CD trying on different hats, some of which fit, some which don't.

I thought that one song where she croons "go to her, foolish man" has great words, and that NF and DD were buried WAY too far down in the mix (like hanging the Van Gogh behind the refrigerator) to justify their involvement. Get Some Sleep is really catchy, and there were 3 total "catchy ones" I counted...but I don't have it on me right now to review the tracks or the words.

Anyway....cha-ching...there go my two cents. Wink
I agree with you Heidi - that is exactly what I meant about maturity. She has confidence in herself to explore different styles of music.

I guess for me, I don't really listen to Bic Runga for her lyrics. I like her lyrics, but I just have never been blown away by them. I was listening to both albums yesterday and I don't think that the lyrics of the first album are that much better than the second, but I was not studying them intensely.
The lyrics on her second album are not included and the first album they are kind of hard to read on the CD sleeve. Maybe there is a link to them somewhere?

Many times when I listen to music, the lyrics are the last thing that I really "hear" if that makes any sense. I guess I like the overall "feel" of the second album better, I like the mood that it sets. I think the melodies in the songs are beautiful and the lyrics, when I really hear what they are saying, fit perfectly with the songs...

But, I am one of the people that likes Paul Mc Cartney's "Press To Play" album...He, he!

Anyways...I agree MissingPerson, To each their own!
Ta!

Oh and by the way, I don't know if I agree that this album is commercial...
I think it's a brilliant record. Drive has some good songs on it but I've always found the arrangements rather bland and uninspired. With Beautiful Collision I think she's really grown into the role - her voice sounds better in the mix and there isn't a bad song on there. My top 3 are Get Some Sleep, Election Night and the brilliant closer, Gravity. There's a lot of emotion in this record, I think, and Gravity brings it all together in one amazing track. I played the whole album on a long drive down the Llyn Peninsula in Wales to mystical Bardsey Island, and the music seemed so apt in a landscape of low light and grey cloud-covered hills - one of those moments when music and place really come together.

At the end of the day, regardless of how it stands up to Drive, in comparison to a lot of the crap out there Beautiful Collision is well worth the money.
If im not mistaking, she's going to do an Album with her sister Boh. That should be interesting as Boh is a bit wild in terms of music although she does write some beautiful songs. Boh is in a band called Stella* and if i could compare their musical style with Bics, Stellar would be I See Red and Bic would be Last One Standing. They were asked if they were going to follow in the footsteps of Neil and Tim and call their album "Runga". Beautiful collision is a an album that leaves you wanting more and she had that same magic with Drive and seeing her live is an experiance one could never forget. The passion, the beauty, the intamcy of her songs is what makes her one of my all time favourite Kiwi singers.
OK I'm biased....but B.C. just does it for me as a CD- I'm still playing it and I've had the thing for ages now. Her music just adds a calmness to my life.
"Get some sleep" should of been such a radio hit (apart from NZ). It's great that she is reaching some decent cult status in Australia the recent shows have been sellouts or very close here.
If people like the albums, try and get the singles as they usually have non album tracks and some of these are my all time fave Bic songs. The Runga does rock my world! (:
Songwriter/guitarist/singer/lover of Milo milkshakes...I'm all for it.
Peter
Just got her Beautiful Collision cd for my birthday, and I think it's amazing! I can easily see how people can be strongly divided in their opinion of her, though. I'm finding the cd one that I listen to when I want to sit back and unwind but not "doze" if you know what I mean. I definately hear those influences of singers from the past that she spoke about on her website. (by the way it's www.bicrunga.com and I believe most of her lyrics are posted there, easier to read than liner notes) It's too early in the morning to write a coherent opinion and the caffeine hasn't kicked in yet as well...just suffice to say I'm a new fan. Her music isn't something we hear everyday on the radio here, though. I listen to a station that has really championed Norah Jones so I wrote the other day and said "Hey...ya gotta play this too!" Portland has a reputation as a very laid-back eclectic city and I think if more people had the opportunity to hear her, they would really enjoy her music. Now, more coffee.....

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