If you’ve ever self-consciously done a google search for a Glee re-make, this is the album for you.
New York duo A Great Big World’s debut album Is Anybody Out There is a crippingly cringey, poptastic assembly of piano ballads and up-beat, big chorus numbers. And yet, like Glee revisions of pop classics, it’s annoyingly enjoyable.
It’s got violin quivers, outstanding voices and harmonies, and songs about coming home and being with the people you care about. It’s made for end of school graduation videos, camp fires and the X Factor finals. Yuck. I want so much to turn it off and hate it, but it’s difficult.
And I’m not the only one enjoying it. Their up-tempo, piano driven single ‘This is the New Year’, was the theme song for ‘I Used to Be Fat’ on MTV, played on One Tree Hill and Good Morning America, and was performed on a certain high-school drama about teenagers who like to sing and dance. I’ll let you guess which. But the talent of A Great Big World is most present on heartwrenching piano ballad ‘Say Something’. It’s simple, but classic, and incredibly beautiful.
This is not an original, clever or especially interesting debut. Actually, it’s pretty boring and incredibly repetitive, safe and inoffensive. But I can’t help but think that it is, well, nice.