Back in the 80s there was penchant amongst bands such as Simple Minds, Big Country and The Waterboys for producing tracks that had large swelling emotional aural landscapes; a style which became known as ‘Big Music’. Chris Phillips has made an album of huge ambition and he is definitely opted to go large on this fine album. At times there are echoes of Oasis as on “Loaded Gun” and “Life’s a Dance” which sounds like a lost classic from the Gallagher brothers. Elsewhere more modern West Coast influences such as Israel Nash can be heard as on the superb title track “Build Me An Empire”. The epicness of the production reaches its zenith on “Long is the Night” which has an Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros quality to it and includes a virtual choir with a host of Welsh music luminaries including Aled Clifford from Henry’s Funeral Shoe and the irrepressible Cat Southall. Chris Phillips produced the album himself and there are a couple of occasions when his ambition and production don’t quite match up. Overall though this is a fine album. Phillips thought his previous album was going to be his last. On the evidence of tracks on ‘Build Me an Empire’ we should be grateful he decided to persevere.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://www.newsoundwales.com/cd-reviews/chris-phillips-build-me-an-empire/