AbsolutePunk.net
   Username
Password
 
Album Review
Hint: Follow a reviewer to be notified when they post reviews.
Barcelona - Absolutes Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 9
Musicianship 7.75
Lyrics 7.25
Production 8.75
Creativity 7.5
Lasting Value 8
Reviewer Tilt 8.5
Final Verdict: 81%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9.33
Musicianship 8.92
Lyrics 8.71
Production 9.17
Creativity 8.63
Lasting Value 9.08
Reviewer Tilt 9.38
Average: 90%
Inside AP.net

Barcelona - Absolutes

Reviewed by: Blake Solomon (04/27/09)
BarcelonaAbsolutes
Record Label: Universal Motown Records
Release Date: April 28, 2009


During a recent discussion of Absolutes, Barcelona’s re-released album from 2007, a trusted advisor described the band as “aural heaven.” This struck me in a significant manner. And then, after I looked up the meaning of “aural”, it struck me even more. Quite a compliment, indeed. Soon after beginning the always-bellowing, ever-emotional ride that is Absolutes, I knew the description was apt. Brian Fennell, the band's main songwriter, is right to have so much faith in Absolutes. Other than the addition of two new songs (piano-rock masterpiece “Come Back When You Can” and pulsing “The Takers”) and one re-recording (“Colors”), this is essentially the same record. The band is probably itching to start anew, but I’m far from ready to move forward.

It’s true that, as a re-release, Absolutes isn’t very meaty. Longtime fans of the band will do better to download the new selections. Let’s be honest, a collector’s item this is not. For those of you (i.e. me) just entering into Fennell’s world of Augustana-on-steroids, piano-laden mood rock, Absolutes will certainly be one of the better records released through a major label this year. That being said, don’t expect to hear these songs on the radio. With the possible exceptions of upbeat “Colors” or maybe the guitar-heavy rock of “It’s About Time”, Barcelona will stay an indie band. The music is a smidge too smart for rock radio, not dumb enough for pop radio, and there’s no fuzziness, so you know college radio is out of the question. My mom might like it, though.

But then again, I’m in college (for now!). Rhett Stonelake’s spazzy drumming on “Lesser Things” easily keeps my attention. Ballad-with-balls “Faded” has synthesized strings and a confrontational bassline – I could easily break up with my girlfriend to this song’s climactic ending. I guess what I’m trying to say is: stranger albums have latched on to stranger people. Someone must be listening or Universal wouldn’t have offered the customary bags o’ money and Lauren Conrad lunch meetings. But a song like closer, “Please Don’t Go”, makes it clear that this band doesn’t care about that junk. “Please Don’t Go” also makes it clear that everyone should like Barcelona regardless of race, creed or wardrobe. Lyrically it’s a bit trite (“When you crashed in the clouds / You found me”), but focusing on Fennell’s achingly fragile voice as an instrument and not an oracle helps. Simple piano sections and twinkling bells become awash in the band’s grand orchestral statement, and by using descending string arrangements with happy-go-lucky percussion, Barcelona create the score for your next favorite romantic comedy.

Pop music doesn’t have to reach someone because it can reach everyone. Barcelona may have trouble finding a large enough audience to keep their major label sharks biting, but since when did I care about that? To me, Absolutes is a stunning movement of intelligent, atmospheric, and hey!, catchy pop music.


Recommended If You Like: Augustana, Brightwood, surprise, slow James Morrison songs, hits(?)


So unknownwww.myspace.com/barcelona
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 27.
06:04 AM on 04/28/09
#2
Everiggs
<--------Hot
Offline
User Info.
Everiggs's Avatar
Love this album.

"First Floor People" gets me everytime.
06:51 AM on 04/28/09
#3
ignition
Between the lines of age
Offline
User Info.
ignition's Avatar
Haven't heard the re-release yet, but love the original.
07:15 AM on 04/28/09
#4
thecobrakais
the way of the fist.
Offline
User Info.
thecobrakais's Avatar
nice review. i'll agree with you for the most part, but i really think these guys have potential to be huge. i just saw them open for mae last week and they blew me away.

i'm new to them and hadn't heard of them before last week, but i'm so glad i finally did. this album is fantastic and every fan of music should own it.
07:17 AM on 04/28/09
#5
Gregory Robson
Under Rug Swept
Offline
User Info.
Gregory Robson's Avatar
Aural heaven indeed! Love this album love this band, love this review. It's a Tuesday lovefest!
07:44 AM on 04/28/09
#6
Jeff_Ryan
easy come and easy go, whatever
Offline
User Info.
Jeff_Ryan's Avatar
i'm excited to see them open for Mae next month
07:56 AM on 04/28/09
#7
mymusicismylife
Disgruntled wheat thins enthusiast
Offline
User Info.
mymusicismylife's Avatar
I'm usually nothing more than a casual fan when it comes to indie, but this stuff is definitely good.
08:07 AM on 04/28/09
#8
Blake Solomon
Leave a one-way note.
Offline
User Info.
Blake Solomon's Avatar
Aural heaven indeed! Love this album love this band, love this review. It's a Tuesday lovefest!

Aha! My muse!
08:57 AM on 04/28/09
#9
thecobrakais
the way of the fist.
Offline
User Info.
thecobrakais's Avatar
i'm excited to see them open for Mae next month
you will love it. the entire show was definitely a memorable experience.
09:09 AM on 04/28/09
steviestare
.
Offline
User Info.
steviestare's Avatar
Great review. I hope they do well. Known them forever and they deserve it.
09:36 AM on 04/28/09
ramomcferno
It Only Gets Better
Offline
User Info.
ramomcferno's Avatar
I didn't hear about them when the CD was initially released but I am glad I caught the re-release it will be exciting to see them with Mae next month.
10:02 AM on 04/28/09
Jeff_Ryan
easy come and easy go, whatever
Offline
User Info.
Jeff_Ryan's Avatar
you will love it. the entire show was definitely a memorable experience.
there's no way it could be bad. i love mae and person l, the show is the day after my birthday, i'm going with my best friend who i haven't seen in like 8 months, and its at my favorite venue =)
10:45 AM on 04/28/09
emkvetwin
What's left of where we're from?
Offline
User Info.
emkvetwin's Avatar
i'll have to check this out, i really like "It's About Time."
12:27 PM on 04/28/09
pleasedontpanic
I believe. Help my unbelief.
Offline
User Info.
pleasedontpanic's Avatar
This is an incredibly talented group. Saw them years back when they played with Fair. Fantastic.
02:49 PM on 04/28/09
AbbeyCarbs
We're just kids on the run.
Offline
User Info.
AbbeyCarbs's Avatar
I love this band. Even though there's only a little bit of new stuff, I just went out and bought it. Yay.
Options
More From This Author
Buy the Music

NEWS, MUSIC & MORE
Search News
Release Dates
Exclusives
Best New Music
Articles
CONNECT
Submit News
Forums
Contests
Mobile Version
AP.net Logos
HIDDEN TREASURES
Free Music
Video News
Sports Forum
Technology Forum
Recommendations
INFORMATION
Advertising
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
FOLLOW
Twitter | Facebook | RSS
PropertyOfZack
PunkNews.org
UnderTheGun
Chorus.fm