Sunday, September 09, 2007

Music Review: Barcelona - Absolutes

Barcelona has quickly become one of my favorite bands in the few weeks I've "known" them. Their debut album, Absolutes is like my own personal portal into Alice's Wonderland where everything feels so surreal and 'space-y', that you don't know which way is up and which way is down, and you don't know if it's real or just a very beautiful dream, but you don't care because you're enjoying every minute of it so much.

Except that the Wonderland it brings you to is a little more somber than Alice's version. It feels more like Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere than Alice's Wonderland, actually. In fact, I have a feeling that if Neil Gaiman's novel Neverwhere was going to be made into a movie, Absolutes would make a very good soundtrack for it.

Barcelona's Absolutes has a combination of sounds that are really exquisite, from the regular sounds of guitars, piano, and drums, to the not so regular sounds of the rhodes, violin, and glockenspiel, Barcelona has created music that catches your breathe and imagination. I honestly have to marvel at Brian Fennell's songwriting talent. Brian Fennell was originally a solo artist, but when he assembled a band for a short tour which included Brian Eichelberger on bass, Chris Bristol on guitar, and Rhett Stonelake on drums, he realized that a band suited his musical talents better than a one-man show. Thus, the birth of Barcelona and one of the best bands ever.

What I love about Barcelona's music is that it gives you a sense of magic and other-worldliness. The lyrics are profound and very different, you're not quite sure what they really mean, but you know it makes sense on some level. It's like when people talk about seeing music and tasting color, the lyrics give you a little hint of how that might feel like. And the music, oh, the music...What can I say?

"Colors" is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard, lyrically and musically, and I absolutely loved the keyboard melody. "Colors", "Response" and "Numb" are originally from Brian Fennell's solo album. "It's About Time", "Lesser Things" and "Stars" are a few of my favorites songs on the album, the bass on "Stars" is incredible, you've just got to hear it, but "Colors" is by far my most favorite track. The other songs like "First Floor People", "Get Up, Get Up, Get Up" and "You Will Pull Through" reminds me a little of Radiohead, they're a little darker but still other-worldly, and so extremely sad to listen to. You can listen to some of their songs on their website.

I really love how Barcelona has captured fleeting emotions and indescribable feelings and put them into the slightly more tangible forms of music and lyrics. I have spent countless hours listening to them, and I'm loving them more and more each time. I absolutely loved their debut album, Absolutes and I am looking forward to hearing more from Barcelona.


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