Paul Baribeau- Unbearable
Record Label: PLAN-IT-X Records
Release Date: March 10, 2010
I'm not going to mention his beard, so I'll start this off by saying that Paul Baribeau has done it again. Unbearable is another solid release from him. The first thing I noticed after hitting play was that the production value had greatly improved compared to his self-titled and Grand Ledge. I've yet to decide if that is a good thing or not, because, as cliche as it is, his previous two records were raw. The imperfections in his voice and guitar were up front and were part of what made those records so good. Those imperfections aren't nearly as apparent in Unbearable, if they're even there at all. This step up in production has also forced the album to blend in with other acoustically driven albums, something I feel like he previously did a good job of separating himself from. For some people, this might make the album boring or forgettable. That being said, it's beautiful in the sense that it's crisp and clear and almost presents us to a side of Baribeau that we've yet to see.
As for the music, it doesn't disappoint. After the production value, the second thing I noticed while listening to Unbearable for the first time was how much I liked the opening track, "If I Knew." It could turn out to be one of his better songs when it's all said and done. One thing Baribeau does do to offset the possible blending in that the production causes is keeping the album moving along. Most songs are around two to two and a half minutes, with three tracks being right around a minute forty-five. The one exception to this is the fifth track on the album, "Rolling Clouds" which sits at fifteen seconds from being five minutes and is another favorite of mine from the release. Other tracks that stood out to me were "How Could That Be True" and "Black Strat."
Overall, Unbearable is bearable, Paul Baribable. Okay, those two shitty jokes aside, it is another solid release from Paul Baribeau. And, even though I'm on the fence about how I feel about the production value, I'd still encourage fans of his previous releases as well as first time listeners to go ahead and download this album. Especially since you can download it for free here at If You Make It. I'd also encourage you to donate the suggested $5-10 if you can.