The Big Black And The Blue

Album Review of The Big Black And The Blue by First Aid Kit.

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The Big Black And The Blue

First Aid Kit

The Big Black And The Blue by First Aid Kit

Release Date: May 25, 2010
Record label: Wichita
Genre(s): Pop, Folk

63 Music Critic Score
How the Music Critic Score works

The Big Black And The Blue - Fairly Good, Based on 5 Critics

New Musical Express (NME) - 80
Based on rating 4/5
80

Much has been made of the way [a]First Aid Kit[/a] – a pair of precociously talented teenage Swedish sisters – can tap into the mind of the wronged suburban housewives better than Loose Women. As curious a party piece that is, it rather overshadows their phenomenal way with gorgeous melodies and heart-melting harmonies. The evocative, lilting a capella of opener ‘[b]In The Morning[/b]’, paves the way for the ’60s swing of ‘[b]Waltz For Richard[/b]’, which comes over like a mythical [a]Joni Mitchell[/a] and [a]Carole King[/a] collaboration.

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Drowned In Sound - 60
Based on rating 6/10
60

Certain aspects of certain bands are always inescapable when discussing their music. Bon Iver lived in a cabin; Portishead take ages between records; The Strokes will never match Is This It; etcetera, etcetera. The same indubitably goes for young artists, perhaps because those writing about them feel a melancholic disappointment at their own comparative attainments at that age.

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The Guardian - 60
Based on rating 3/5
60

After notching up more than 1m YouTube views for their forest-floor cover of Fleet Foxes' Tiger Mountain Peasant Song, in which you can almost see the trees shaking under the air-pushing force of their potent harmonies, this pair of teenage sisters (right) from suburban Stockholm now let fly with their first full set of originals. From the get-go, Klara and Johanna Söderberg's voices are astonishing, with a lung-busting gusto beyond the usual gentility of this kind of pop. The songs tilt at traditional folk sounds with some skill, and there's a melodic ear of real resonance at work in the rise-and-fall hook of Hard Believer, or in the wonderfully twirling lines of Waltz for Richard.

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AllMusic - 50
Based on rating 5/10
50

Suburban Stockholm's Söderberg sisters put their best foot forward on this, their first full-length outing as First Aid Kit: the album opens nearly a cappella, with a few slow strums and then a full minute of nothing but the haunting close harmonies that are the duo's strongest and most distinctive musical asset. In the 40-odd minutes that follow, the sisters' simplistic, repetitious song structures may start to grow stale, and their fine but unfussy folk instrumentalism may seem less than inspiring, but those harmonies are never far from hand, ensuring that The Big Black and the Blue is never less than an entirely pleasant listening experience. And it has potential to be much more than that -- taken individually, many and even most of these tunes have ample charms to offer, among them the sweetly melodic "Waltz for Richard," the wistful "Heavy Storm," and the intriguing "I Met Up with the King" (which bears a striking resemblance to Neko Case).

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BBC Music
Their review was generally favourable

They might not capture your heart fully, but theirs are in the right place. Mike Diver 2010 Big-voiced Swedish sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg make their intentions perfectly clear on MySpace: “We aim for the hearts, not the charts”. Commendable, but given the pressure on any artist to perform well commercially – different targets for different troupes, granted, but targets nonetheless – perhaps a little naively idealistic.

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