Fitzsimon & Brogan is a musical project based in London, whose creators therefore logically are songwriter Neil Fitzsimon, and vocalist Bee Brogan. The two setup their songwriting and production to produce, what they describe as “pure pop for now people.” Both were previously in a band called Pretty Blue Gun who featured guests musicians such as members of The Art of Noise, Dave Bronze (Eric Clapton’s bass player), Tobias Boshell (Moody Blues) and Pip Williams, who played guitar on the Walker Brothers’ track, ‘No Regrets’. The two critically acclaimed albums were produced by Pat Collier, who produced Katrina and the Waves’ international hit, ‘Walking on Sunshine’.
The partnership of Fitzsimon & Brogan has since gone on to place their songs in Film & TV and also write a musical called “Jack Dagger”. One of their latest projects is the 13 track album “Big Blue World”, released June 22nd.
All the songs are written by Neil Fitzsimon, who also plays the guitars, while Bee Brogan handles vocals, keyboards, drums and engineering. There’s a timeless quality to this music; it could’ve been recorded pretty much anytime in the last sixty years, and yet it still sounds fresh, new, and exciting.
Because when Neil Fitzsimon’s brilliant arrangements, witty lyrics, beautifully whimsical melodies, and Bee Brogan’s perfectly coy vocal deliveries come together against a backdrop of shimmering keys, jangling guitars, and bewitching backup vocal harmonies, something magical happens.
“Big Blue World” is the most ambitious independent pop album I’ve heard in a while, fleshing out the band’s muscular rhythm attack with big orchestral arrangements and a full, punchy pop sound, courtesy of master production. It is one of those rare, cherished albums whose every song is good, either in part or in whole.
There’s no need to skip tracks while listening to this album. Each track is equal in quality, but that’s where the equality stops. All songs have something unique about them that helps to make every listen a slightly new experience.
Fitzsimon & Brogan have traded current mainstream pop’s darkest cynicism in for more mature responses, and even life-affirmation at moments; they have exchanged its flat skewed auto-tuned vocals for strong and deliberate melodies and rich harmonies; and as far as instrumental arrangements, the cloned and repetitive manufactured beats have been replaced by buoyant organic energy.
The evolution is of course in a direction that once was pop music, for those who still have a memory of sweeter times. Fitzsimon & Brogan also add their own brand of wit, charisma, playful melodies, and some catchy chamber pop elements.
Highlights? How about the galloping title track “Big Blue World”; the soul-pop “The Only Girl”; the acoustic driven “The Wounds Are Healing”; the exuberant “God Given Right”; the dark and wistful “Snipers Target”; the rollercoaster “Scared Of The Dark”; the near-epic “Revolution Of The Mind”. But this list could go on and on.
Even if you are not a Fitzsimon & Brogan fan just yet, this album will be one of those that you listen to over and over, tirelessly. It is simply and completely, a delight on so many levels, anyone who hears it, will be hooked indeed. “Big Blue World” is one of the finest collections of pure pop songs I have heard, from any one band, since the sixties.