A Great Big World – Is There Anybody Out There?

A Great Big World - Is There Anybody Out There

The debut album from A Great Big World: Is There Anybody Out There

A Great Big World are a happy pair with a very positive outlook. Despite the success of their tear-jerking ballad Say Something, their album boasts bouncy melodies with messages about love and a better tomorrow. They might be said to be a couple of dreamers with their heads in the clouds, and in today’s world, that might not be such a bad thing.

Upon hearing Say Something, which is currently a Top 10 hit with megastar-in-return Christina Aguilera, I was excited to find out what else this New York indie-pop duo had to offer following what is one of the pivotal pop music moments of 2014 so far.

Yet Is There Anybody Out There begs the question of is there anything more?

Say Something is as great as it is because of its simplicity – in its lyrics, melody and delivery. Even the version without Christina soars with the key line “say something/I’m giving up on you.” They maintain the magic again on I Don’t Wanna Love Somebody Else but otherwise that simplicity leaves a sense of something missing for most of the album, like the songs themselves are incomplete.

A Great Big World sound like a mixture of fun. and One Direction, without the anthemic chorus but with the quick and easy melody as both band members, Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino, trade off verses within songs, further giving them the boy-band feel. Both Rockstar and Already Home best display these comparisons.

At times, the album plays like it could be the soundtrack to an off-Broadway musical. Everybody Is Gay has an extreme corniness that could come from an offshoot of Avenue Q, where they proclaim “If you’re gay, then you’re gay/If you’re straight, well that’s great!!” while album closer Cheer Up! attempts to put things into perspective with the help of outer space.

Axel and Vaccarino have the ability to create catchy pop tunes and to eventually carve a niche for themselves with them. However, most of the time they miss key elements that could take the merely average into something a little more substantial. Is There Anybody Out There is offensively non-offensive and, while pleasant for what it is, ultimately leaves more to be desired.
Three stars

Tracklisting
1. Rockstar
2. Land Of Opportunity
3. Already Home
4. I Really Want It
5. Say Something
6. You’ll Be Okay
7. Everybody Is Gay
8. There Is An Answer
9. I Don’t Wanna Love Somebody Else
10. This Is The New Year
11. Shorty Don’t Wait
12. Cheer Up!
13. Say Something [with Christina Aguilera]

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