25 May 2022
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Bic Runga - Album Review: Close Your Eyes

05 Dec 2016 // A review by Carl Hayman

There isn’t many people in New Zealand that have had have stood out as solo artists with such finesse or success as our very own Bic Runga.

After many years of waiting and reminiscing about her earlier singles such as Sway and Good Morning Baby from her massively successful debut album Drive Bic has finally delivered an exceptional new album on the year of her 40th birthday titled Close Your Eyes.

The first track kicks in with orchestral keyboard/piano tunes over a playful funk style bass line, that beautiful flowing voice that we have grown to know and love, and some well crafted delicate jazz drums. This is the named track from the album – and it still carries the casual relaxed summer feel-good vibe that  Bic delivers so perfectly.

Track two What’cha Say picks you up and drops you somewhere into 1974 for a start with some flared pants, a tie dyed shirt, and some roller skates. It is without a doubt disco-funk in my mind, but I’ll leave that for you to decide.

For me, the stand out song from the album is Things Behind The Sun. It’s a stunner of a track, and really gets back to her roots – the fully exposed and vulnerable Bic Runga from 1993 that is nothing but a girl with an amazing voice and an acoustic guitar that is so pleasant and refreshing to listen to.

The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face I feel might end up being one of the more successful tracks off this album as well, although to be fair just about every track off this album is so meticulous that I feel at any one point in time we might hear one of Bic’s new tunes being tucked away into the soundtrack of another famous movie.  

For a guy that loves rock music, I will definitely be adding this to my list of favourite albums of 2016 and will probably have this on repeat all the way through our sunny New Zealand Christmas season with a nice glass of bubbles on the deck in the sun.

 

About Bic Runga

Born in 1976, Briolette Kah Bic Runga is the third daughter of Maori soldier Joseph Runga and Chinese cabaret singer, Sophia, who met and fell in love in Malaysia during the Vietnam war.

Growing up in the 'underwhelming' Christchurch suburb of Hornby, the Runga family listened to The Carpenters, Shirley Bassey, Dusty Springfield, The Mamas & The Papas and The Beatles sung in Chinese. At age 4 Bic heard her mother play Diamonds Are Forever and found the experience frightening. "I remember I didn't really know why music would make you feel like that."

Although she had no formal music training, Bic started learning drums at age 11, and later learned the basics on guitar and keyboards. She began composing her own songs and, always willing to emulate older sister Boh Runga, joined high school bands.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Bic Runga

Releases

Close Your Eyes
Year: 2016
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Anthology
Year: 2012
Type: Album
Belle
Year: 2011
Type: Album
Try To Remember Everything
Year: 2008
Type: Album
Birds (Special Edition)
Year: 2006
Type: Album
Birds
Year: 2005
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Beautiful Collision
Year: 2002
Type: Album
Drive
Year: 1998
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape

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