by W.W. McWiggin
The Big Ep begins with U Name It, I Got It featuring Chris O’ Neil. On the surface, the song is a funky smash. The beat is fantastic, it dares you not to dance along (you will definitely lose the dare). It displays the BIG sound we were promised, filling every inch of available space with groovy goodness. Then, there is the hook. Perfectly written, it encompasses the mainstream pop feel you get from the song as a whole. The lyrics of the hook are straightforward and easy to grasp, so even the stupidest of us will be singing along by the third go-round. To top it off, Chris’ voice is outstanding, encapsulating the happy-go-lucky vibe of the song. Under the surface, however, is where you find the true brilliance of the song. It takes a few listens for sure, but eventually, there it is—a critique of something bigger. Andy Box takes a song about a girl at a club looking for easy love and adds a deep and beautiful layer. All of a sudden, we wonder what this girl represents, or who? That is up to you to decide. Let’s just say your brain should be moving as rapidly as your feet when your jamming out to this one!
After getting us up on our feet and moving, Big Sounds Better decides it is time to take us to space—or beyond it. One has to assume the second song, Entanglement, helped inspire the album cover. The beat is otherworldly. It is masterfully recorded and mixed, truly giving it the ability to transport you off the planet earth. The drums are on point, as is the bridge, which couldn’t have been better. Then, there is the vocals. Andy Box transfers from rapping to singing with ease, from bars to ballad. The real beauty of the song though, is the pain. “Hold on tight to all your pleasures/I’ll come steal your pain” embodies a burden, a burden born from “true love”. You can hear it in Andy’s voice, it’s powerful—I must admit I was brought to tears by it—and true. Clearly, one of the “two hearts” has made a paramount decision, a sacrifice of self for the purpose of love. A sacrifice that the “heart” believes will never be acknowledged in this lifetime, or even in this world. Yet, the “heart” takes on this burden anyway. It is devastating. But, Andy doesn’t leave us crushed. No, instead he gives us hope. The “heart” may not believe their sacrifice will pay off in this life, but it will eventually; in the “entangled spaces”, when the two hearts are reunited once more. With Entanglement, Big Sounds Better have created a masterpiece that is both breathtakingly beautiful and utterly heartbreaking. It is, in my humble (side note-check out that Big Sounds Better Humble Remix) opinion, tied for best song on the EP.
Ah, the descent. Is it coincidence that Save Yourself from Me comes after Entanglement? A song about true love and the sacrifices it demands, and then a song where the first line of the first verse is “I don’t think that love is meant for me”? I think not. Big Sounds Better literally dropped us from space to hell, just like that. The beat begins as a smooth guitar riff, as if the descent begins slowly, but before long it drops into madness. Hard drums and a powerful guitar create a Coheed and Cambria-like sound that is both chaotic and precise. The bridge is intense as well, the effects on the guitar create an ambient epicness, further adding to the hellish vibe of the piece; I couldn’t help but think of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy the first time I heard the bridge. With his first words, Andy sets up the entire song, “This devil on my head tryna serenade/manipulate/and just penetrate.” Obviously, something or someone got into Andy’s head, forcing him to battle with their point of view. And battle he does. With a vicious flow and top-notch bars Andy attacks this devil, striking their point of view down, each bar like a blow from a longsword. I mean, you don’t get much better than, “I believe that Heaven has a plan/Still were free to never understand/hiding from the truth we on the lam(b)/scared to see that love is such a scam/now I’m petty/and I’m pennyless/pessimism just to bring you bliss/you don’t wana love me baby/if you ever wana love me/think of this.” Flow, rhyme scheme, alliteration, and content melding together to create perfection. Obviously Andy knows this, which is why we hear the sequence in both verses. At this point in the EP, I wondered if Andy had really given up on love. Does he really believe that “love is a such a scam”, when only one song ago he sings of true love? After a few more listens, we the differentiation becomes apparent. True love is different from plain love. True love is eternal, it finds its way no matter the dimension, the space, the time. Plain love, however, seems to reference a more man-made version of the concept. Andy ties this sort of love to laziness (“Love is lazy never working”) and ignorance (“I don’t wana swim in the abyss/blissful ignorance is ship wreckage”). Plain love is the devils idea of love. More on this a bit later.
I must admit, Big Things is the one song on the EP that doesn’t quite fit to me. There is, in my opinion, a story of sorts being told. I’m not certain the story was intended, it could be entirely my interpretation, but art is seen and heard through the eyes and ears of the audience, so yeah. Either way, Big Things sounds like a stand alone single to me. My reason for saying that is because it is almost a theme song of sorts. It’s quintessential Big Sounds better, as the beat sounds huge, and Andy’s bars are top-notch. The song has a confident presence and it gives off a “we’re here to stay” vibe. However, because it has a theme song feel to it, it carries an inherent corniness that forces it to stand at a distance from it’s very not-corny counterparts.The song is dope, but it is overshadowed by the depth of songs that surround it.
I will never stop loving this song! The song is beautiful, and is the other song tied for my favorite on the EP. The keys are played with elegance. The guitar and accompanying instruments create an uplifting sonic experience. However, the true bright spot of the beat is the drums. They add a power to the song that takes it to the next level. Then, there is the brilliance of the singers. Two voices that carry so much soul and portray vast quantities of love. They work off each other flawlessly, creating a nearly tangible chemistry. Also, kudos to whoever decided to have the male voice alone on verse one and the female voice alone on verse two; it really enhances the portions of the song where the singers perform together. Andy, who isn’t heard on the song, wrote wonderful lyrics for this piece. “I hope your life is a run on sentence/and it leaves you breathless,” is pure poetry. When outstanding lyrics pour from the two singers’ mouths, they become stunning, a true work of art. Lastly, this song signals the end of the story. If Save Yourself from Me leaves us pondering belief in love and true love, Never Stop Loving You gives us a glimpse of the answers he’s found. He clearly hasn’t given up on love at all.
The Big Ep is Big Sounds Better’s first full offering. In my opinion, they should be really proud of what they just added to music. It is a diverse work that fully displays their ability to meld genres. They have proven they can create songs that are both easy to jam out to and deep. If you are just looking to throw on some good music and vibe, then look no further. If you are looking to ponder bigger questions, or dissect metaphors, then look no further. No matter your taste in music, there should be a song on here for you. Remember, Big Sounds Better!