Russell | Ballwin, MO USA | 04/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album took a little while to grow on me, but when I finally got it, it was absolutely life-changing. It is my favorite XTC album among many strong contenders and one of my favorite albums all-time. The mystery of this album is the fact that those of us who get it have little luck trying to convey its majesty to those who don't. To those folks I say keep trying, you will be amply rewarded. "Wake Up" and "Train Running Low on Soul Coal" are tracks beyond description. With encroaching age, I feel the pull and power of the latter track more every year. Consider this an album to grow up and old with - gracefully!"
Todd7 | Michigan | 11/07/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Big Express is an album that explodes out of your speakers, and maintains a certain boldness throughout. It's very loud (especially the drums), but has that signature distinctness that's an XTC trademark. No two XTC albums are similar (with the possible exception of White Music and Go 2), and it's so nice that they have an album for every mood you're in. The album starts off with Wake Up, which is a poppy, MTV-type mainstream track, as is All You Pretty Girls. I really appreciate Shake You Donkey Up, which is a catchy and zany barn dancing piece that has you wanting more. Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her is just brilliant, with the brass thrown in. Just the title alone is so cool. This World Over sounds just like the Police, and is one of my all-time favorite XTC songs. The Everyday Story of Smalltown is a masterpiece, with its addictive melody. I Bought Myself a Liarbird was probably meant to be a filler song, but it's one of the best on the album. It has to do with their manager with whom they had a strained relationship with. Reign of Blows is probably the loudest track, and is hard to listen to at first, because of the loudness. This album takes some getting used to, but the songs are brilliantly-crafted. You're the Wish You Are I Had is a melodic pop song, with some nice changes. I Remember the Sun sounds like Sting (not the Police), and is a Moulding classic (or should be). Train Running Low on Soul Coal is a complex arrangement of aggressive guitars, followed by a steady and softer melody and chorus. It takes some getting used to, but is great. Red Brick Dream sounds a little like Pink Floyd, with good acoustic work. The last two tracks, Wash away and Blue Overall are mediocre, and are listed as bonus tracks. This album took me 3 or 4 run-throughs before I realized just how brilliant it is. I initially thought that I'd give it 3 or 4 stars, but each time I played it, it got better and better, and is one of XTC's greatest albums, in my opinion. 9.5/10"