Author Topic: [Music] Runrig - The Big Wheel  (Read 1847 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline tri.ad

  • The Invisible Man
  • DT.net Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 7901
  • Gender: Male
[Music] Runrig - The Big Wheel
« on: January 19, 2010, 07:59:23 AM »
[Music] Runrig - The Big Wheel

Reviewed by: Nicolas X. (tri.ad)
Artist: Runrig
Album: The Big Wheel
Genre: Rock/Celtic Rock
Year of release: 1991
On Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Big-Wheel-Runrig/dp/B0000267TQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1263735608&sr=8-1

People may ask why I chose to review an album by a band basically no-one on this forum (save for about three or four people) knows. Well, I have noticed that many members on DTF are willing to get to know more bands, more genres, and more music in general. So I decided to introduce you to a small niche of rock music and its biggest and most famous representative. For information about Runrig‘s history, see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runrig#History


The Big Wheel
The Big Wheel is probably Runrig‘s best-known album. Since the band does not wear their influences of Scottish music on their sleeves here as much as on their other albums, I consider it the perfect starting point for people who like to get into this band, but who rather come from a hard rock/metal background. It was also my first Runrig album and the point that marked my introduction to rock music in general.
If you are looking for fast guitar solos and high technical proficiency, this band will not be the right one for you. But if you are looking for some good music that creates a great atmosphere, carry on reading.

The album starts out with a slower piece called „Headlights“, creating an anthemic mood and showing some nice keyboard leads by Peter Wishart. Donnie Munro‘s voice soars over the song in an almost majestic way while Rory Macdonald provides some lines in Gaelic. Taking the vocal duties in turns is one of Runrig‘s trademarks, and it appears on the album rather often.

The next song, „Healer In Your Heart“, is my personal favourite on the album. Rory Macdonald delivers a very cool bass line, and guitarist Malcolm Jones gets to play a nice in-between of lead and solo. Drummer Iain Bayne and Calum Macdonald also stand out with great percussive interaction.

Next one up is the first Gaelic-only song on the album, Abhainn An t-Sluaigh (translated: Far From The Crowd‘s River), talking about a personal experience in London. It was the first Runrig song I‘ve ever heard and it‘s also the one featuring the most traditional elements on this album, being structurally similar to the so-called „waulking songs“ while still remaining the style of a ballad.

„Always The Winner“ is a return to the anthemic mood, Runrig style again, another ballad, „This Beautiful Pain“, features Rory Macdonald as the only vocalist, making the song even more personal and melancholic.

The title track „An Cuibhle Mòr“ (translated: The Big Wheel) is about the experience of the band touring throughout Europe, partially containing visions and dreams about Runrig‘s future career. Interestingly enough, the following two tours for the albums „The Big Wheel“ and „Amazing Things“ (1993) are their most extensive ones to date. It cannot really compete with most of the other songs, but is still enjoyable. Again, it shows a great vocal collaboration between Donnie Munro and Rory Macdonald.

„Edge Of The World“ and „Hearthammer“ could be described as the purest rock songs on the album. Both songs contain a driving groove and some noteworthy musicianship in terms of holding the music together. (These songs are even better in concert, but that‘s a different story.) While EOTW is rather keyboard-driven with some nice guitar playing by Malcolm Jones, Hearthammer is the other way round. Malcolm presents some very cool guitar licks, creating a cool atmosphere.

After a short ballad, „I‘ll Keep Coming Home“, which is the only weak spot on the album, Runrig end this album with „Flower Of The West“, which is their longest song they have written so far, clocking in at almost seven minutes and 30 seconds. Another big anthem to the Scottish Highlands. Malcolm Jones puts everything into it towards the ending and shows his best work on the album, Donnie and Rory‘s vocal lines really add to the song, making it really deserve the closing spot, and the rhythm section adds another boost to the atmosphere the song is creating.

Kudos also go to producer Chris Harley, who managed to make this album a sonic enjoyment; every instrument can be noticed very easily, and the sound is very balanced without sounding too compressed or too loud.

tri.ad‘s Rating: 9.5+/10
... And you ask me: "Where's my hairspray?"

Mentlegen.

Offline AcidLameLTE

  • Nae deal pal
  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 11134
  • Gender: Male
Re: [Music] Runrig - The Big Wheel
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2010, 10:36:56 AM »
lolskye

Offline tri.ad

  • The Invisible Man
  • DT.net Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 7901
  • Gender: Male
Re: [Music] Runrig - The Big Wheel
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2010, 11:37:08 AM »
lolskye

There's a time and there are threads where we can joke about my liking for Runrig, but this is neither. So please, for once, be quiet about it.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2010, 12:21:26 PM by tri.ad »
... And you ask me: "Where's my hairspray?"

Mentlegen.

Offline Nick

  • Call Kenny Loggins
  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 18891
  • Gender: Male
  • Cause you're in the danger zone
    • My Radio Show!
Re: [Music] Runrig - The Big Wheel
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2010, 12:03:09 PM »
lolskye

There's a time and there are threads where we can joke about my liking for Runrig, but this is neither. So please, for once, shut up about it.

Heh, perhaps a bit harsh, but correct. This is a serious section of the forum, and hopefully the posting from here out will reflect that.

Anyway please check out the stickies and make the proper post about this thread tri.ad. :)
For the best online progressive radio: ProgRock.com
For the best in progressive news, reviews, and interviews: SonicPerspectives.com
For a trove of older podcasts and interviews: WPaPU.com
Awesome Majesty Pendant Club: Member #1

Offline tri.ad

  • The Invisible Man
  • DT.net Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 7901
  • Gender: Male
Re: [Music] Runrig - The Big Wheel
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2010, 12:22:58 PM »
Took out most of the harshness out of my post...

Also, by "proper post about this thread", do you mean this one: http://www.dreamtheaterforums.org/boards/index.php?topic=1789.msg316225#msg316225 ?
... And you ask me: "Where's my hairspray?"

Mentlegen.

Offline AcidLameLTE

  • Nae deal pal
  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 11134
  • Gender: Male
Re: [Music] Runrig - The Big Wheel
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2010, 12:37:55 PM »
Ouch.

Offline Nick

  • Call Kenny Loggins
  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 18891
  • Gender: Male
  • Cause you're in the danger zone
    • My Radio Show!
Re: [Music] Runrig - The Big Wheel
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2010, 01:39:34 PM »
Yup, thanks. :)
For the best online progressive radio: ProgRock.com
For the best in progressive news, reviews, and interviews: SonicPerspectives.com
For a trove of older podcasts and interviews: WPaPU.com
Awesome Majesty Pendant Club: Member #1

Offline setrataeso

  • Setlist Archivist
  • DTF.org Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3765
  • Gender: Male
  • I probably don't like you
Re: [Music] Runrig - The Big Wheel
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2010, 02:09:13 PM »
Runrig is really cool. I love celtic music.
I mostly know about them through Great Big Sea, who often insists fans check out other celtic bands.
Through them I learned about Runrig, The Barra Mcneils, and some other great bands.

Good review, btw.
NEW REVIEW: Lady Gaga - Born This Way
http://www.dreamtheaterforums.org/boards/index.php?topic=25343.0

Setra, I think that is the best statement I have read on this forum.  Very well said.