Barton – Simple Songs
From the opening guitar riffs I knew Barton’s ‘Simple Songs’ was going to be both a throwback to my Eric Clapton loving teenage years and an album that would leave me bopping my head with an infectious optimism.
The opening track ‘We Are The Ones’ is upbeat to a flaw and would find itself at home on a Japanese cartoon show, with high pitched but intriguing voices. That heralds what can only be described as a very unique and creative album. Barton has a very distinctive singing voice but the overall sound will fit well with lovers of Neutral Milk Hotel and Blind Melon, with guitar skills paralleling Clapton’s. Electronic music being at the fore nowadays it was a refreshing delight to sit down and listen to alternative rock, Barton’s style quickly grows on the listener and I found myself singing along with the chorus on the first listen. It’s decidedly an album that has you clicking your fingers, ‘Tool’ being a personal favourite of mine for the instant gratification of predicting the rhythm.
I love the defiant tones of ‘WTF’ and the electronic voice distortion in ‘Glamour in the Sky’ is the only thing that distinguishes this album from an old school classic. The groovy distortion mixed with a light funky guitar riff makes this the perfect tune to introduce Barton to music lovers of all genres, it’s definitely got a little something special for everyone and will get even your most rigid friends swaying their hips!
‘For A While’ bursts to life with an ‘ I’m from Barcelona’ sound that quickly mellows into comforting quirky love song that leaves the listener positive that their true love is just around the corner. ‘Someday’ is reminiscent of the Ray Charles oldie ‘Hit The Road Jack’ and has an instant success feel. The listener can be assured this will be a household hit with everyone singing along and dreaming that their voice might be as incandescent as Barton’s guest vocalist. Barton’s melancholic but beautiful inflection is back on ‘The Red Line’ in a song that could be likened to a mellower Blind Melon track. ‘The Dead Hand’ signals a heavier turn for the album and is the perfect track to mosh along to. ‘The Big Dig’ draws the album to a close with a fantastic duet that will have every listener kicking back to his or her earlier years of air-guitar and sing alongs.
Barton is a man who loves to entertain, everything is a performance from his immaculate dress to his carefully crafted riffs and lyrics. He has said:
“I’ve always felt happy and supremely high when doing the rock show.”
This is a sentiment that is clearly audible when listening to ‘Simple Songs’, the only thing I’d recommend more than listening to this album is going out and seeing Barton live and in all his glory. ‘Simple Songs’ is a phenomenally fresh and creative listen, 10 out of 10 for unexpected individuality-something to definitely check out if you’re sick of every electronic song sounding the same!
Review by Kat Buckley