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  • Writer's pictureAndy Wors

Major Parkinson - new single 'Blackbox'

Expectation is a dangerous thing. We can look forward to something so much that no matter what is offered, it will always be a disappointment. I'm sure there's some clever philosopher who has a brilliant quote to sum up the issue, but it's particularly applicable to those who love a 'popular beat musical group', as much I know you all love Major Parkinson. And the release of a Major Parkinson single on none other than my birthday (thanks guys... i didn't know you cared) definitely fits under that category, and that release is none other than 'Blackbox', the title track from the hugely anticipated 'Blackbox' album.

Major Parkinson probably need no introduction on these pages. However if you're new here, just start with their self titled album 'Major Parkinson' and move onwards slowly, appreciating every darn bit of brilliance we've witnessed and heard, from the beautiful musical chaos at the end of 'I Am Erica' involving the Japanese girl with a rusty tambourine, to the moment in the middle of 'Heart Machine' where the whole world is ripped open to reveal its single pulsating beat. And it is of course important to recognise that throughout this, Major Parkinson are evolving, both through their band members and in their musical output. Gone are the more playful elements we saw in earlier albums, their output now is darker, but bigger, more ambitious and as we now see in 'Blackbox', totally extraordinary too.

Opening with a vocal theme delivered by Linn Frøkedal, and a rumbling musical accompaniment delivered by wind, brass and Jon Ivar Kollbotn's whispered lyrics (which need further listening), this is a track that opens almost introspectively, if such a thing is possible from this band. But slowly the musical intensity is built, first with a baritone chorus, and we then get hints of the musical theme to come, through an organ in a style that Tim Smith himself would gleefully grin at. Piano intervenes, followed by brass again and we then get the climax, delivered on a symphonic scale we've not witnessed before from Major Parkinson. It's almost all too much for my ears even after multiple listens, a huge musical theme blasted out from the heavens. A 'Rachmaninov' romantic piano interlude brings the curtain down on the performance, and quite frankly I've never heard anything quite like it.

Of course, we will all have to wait and see how this all fits together in the album in its entirety, but it is clear that Major Parkinson are opening up new musical worlds as they continue to evolve. In 'Blackbox' they have a delivered a glorious single with a staggering self confidence and assurance, a magnificent epic of a track, and we now eagerly anticipate the arrival of the album.

The full 'Blackbox' album will come in the next few weeks, these things can't be rushed...

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