Mojave Rain

Big Talk Review

Big Talk starts with a big song. Katzenjammer starts off with low-profile synths and quickly explodes into a good taste of what the rest of the album will be like. In other words a great album opener, and a potentially great live song. The catchy chorus makes this package even sweeter.

We’re all familiar with this song by now, since it was the first single, but it hasn’t gotten old yet, and maintains to be one of the best on the album. The least poppiest song on the album, “Getaways” is a great sing-a-long, and generally just makes you feel good.

Under Water
“Under Water” while good, feels like it was trying to be another “Getaways”.  To me the choruses are very similar, but “Under Water”’s isn’t has good. And since it’s trying to be “Getaways”, and isn’t as good as it, and is right after it, “Under Water” sounds a lot worse in comparison.

The Next One Living
This song would’ve been right at home in The Beatles’ catalogue. It’s probably the most unique on the album too. It takes a brake from the fast rock pace of the album, and it’s a very welcome change of pace. In my humble opinion, “The Next One Living” is one of the best on the album.

“Replica” is the best song on Big Talk. It’s chorus is unforgettably catchy, and is guaranteed to have you humming it long after the song’s over. The bridge has Ronnie shouting “I confess, I confess!” as he launches into the chorus, which makes it my favorite part of the song. I wouldn’t mind if this song was on the next Killers’ album instead of Big Talk.

No Whiskey
The second most unique song on the album, “No Whiskey” is and ode to Ronnie’s drink of choice. Kudos to Ronnie for writing a song like this, as it’s not like the other songs instrumentally, lyrically it’s more of the same.

Girl At Sunrise
“Girl At Sunrise” features a peppy guitar riff and Ronnie happily singing away about girls and sunrises. This song would’ve felt right at home on a Tom Petty album, which may or may not be a plus for you, depending on if you like Petty or not. Personally, I like Petty, so naturally, I really like this song.

White Dove
“White Dove” is a forgettable song, and a hybrid of Petty and The Beach Boys. (This is not a good combination.) I’m sorry, but all of Ronnie’s songs can’t be good, and this is one of the bad ones.

Living In Pictures
The worst song on the album, “Living In Pictures” features an almost non-existent chorus and is an overall generic song. Definitely skipped over.

Hunting Season
While better than “Living In Pictures” and “White Dove”, “Hunting Season” is still a forgettable song. Nothing about the song really stands out. I don’t skip over this song when it comes up, but nothing really compels me to play it myself.

A Fine Time To Need Me
Finally, the album gets better. This song is the second best on the album, after “Replica”. Catchy and simple, this is an overall great song. It also contains Ronnie’s signature humor, with him shouting “Don’t ever drum when your drunk!”
Big Eye
A rambling closer to the album, which almost feels like Brandon’s closer “Swallow It”. Both have them telling a child various lessons. “Big Eye” is a better closer to the album than “Swallow It” was to Brandon’s, but doesn’t hold anything to The Killers’ album closers.

Hey Marie
It’s too bad that this song was included on the actual album, as it’s a very good song. Dark lyrics are taken for a ride on a very happy tune, which turns out great for listeners.

The Hooker
This song definitely sounds like it was born in Las Vegas. It features dark lyrics with a dark tune, which works out just as good as “Hey Marie”. A great closer for those who bought the deluxe edition.

Big Talk is a mixed bag. On one hand, I really like the album. There are some really solid songs that would hold their own in The Killers’ library. On the other hand, some songs are just plain bad. I’d feel a lot better about the album if the bonus tracks were included on the album in place of “White Dove” and “Living In Pictures”. And inevitably I have to compare this album to Flamingo, because the two artists are from the same band. As much as it pains me to compare to very different albums, I did anyways. And when I did, Flamingo was better. I think Brandon has had more experience writing lyrics, whereas Ronnie had trouble getting away from whiskey and girls. Brandon’s album sounded a lot more varied, each song was different from each other. The same can’t be said about Ronnie’s songs. With the exception of “No Whiskey” and “The Next One Living”, all his songs sounded generally the same. Which doesn’t make his album bad, just less interesting to listen to.
All in all, Big Talk is a good solo effort, but not great. It’s plagued by a few bad songs and overall it sounds too similar to itself.