AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Realizing that trip-hop was a dead end, at least as far as hipness goes, Morcheeba expanded their sonic palette on their second album, Big Calm. Trip-hop and dance rhythms remain, but the trio has spent more time writing songs, crafting an album where pop, lounge, film soundtracks, reggae, jazz, and electronica all peacefully coexist. Consequently, Big Calm is a stylistic tour de force, evidence that Morcheeba have turned into a mature, sophisticated group with impeccable taste. Occasionally, the album can sound a little distant, as if the fusions and productions were more important than the actual songs, but the trio is so musically adept, and Skye Edwards' voice is so enchanting, that Big Calmbecome irresistible in its own way.
Big Calm is the second studio album by English electronic music group Morcheeba. It was released in March 1998 by Indochina Records and Sire Records. The album reached the top 20 of the UK album chart, while the single "Part of the Process" charted in the UK singles top 40 in August of the same year. "The Music That We Hear", included on special-edition versions of the album, is a reworking of "Moog Island" from Morcheeba's first album, Who Can You Trust?. The album cover was inspired by that of the 1966 Ray Conniffcompilation Hi Fi Companion.
The recording of the album started on Christmas Day 1995, as Morcheeba members Paul and Ross Godfrey were awaiting the release of Who Can You Trust?. After basic demos had been laid down at their home studio, the duo brought in vocalist Skye Edwards and a number of guest performers to complete the record. Steve Bentley-Klein provided a string-arrangement for "The Sea", while "Let Me See" featured Dom Pipkin on organ and Jimmy Hastings on flute. The song "Blindfold" had been written for the film She's So Lovely, but was not deemed ready for the feature. "Friction" featured Spikey T while the title track includes contributions from Jason Furlow and DJ Swamp.
All lyrics written by Paul Godfrey, Ross Godfrey & Skye Edwards except 11 written by Paul Godfrey, Ross Godfrey, Skye Edwards & Jason Furlow
- "The Sea" – 5:47
- "Shoulder Holster" – 4:04
- "Part of the Process" – 4:24
- "Blindfold" – 4:37
- "Let Me See" – 4:20
- "Bullet Proof" – 4:11
- "Over and Over" – 2:20
- "Friction" – 4:13
- "Diggin' a Watery Grave" – 1:34
- "Fear and Love" – 5:04
- "Big Calm" – 6:00
- "The Music That We Hear" – 3:49 (bonus track)
- Skye Edwards – vocals and Production
- Paul Godfrey – programming, scratching, live drums and lyrics
- Ross Godfrey – all guitars, sitar, pedal steel, lap steel, clavinet, Hammond, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer piano, drums, EMS synthesizer and MKS 80
- Pete Norris – sound manipulation, synthesizer programming
Jason Furlow aka Nosaj the Great - rapping on “Big Calm”