Monday, April 20, 2009

I'm from Barcelona - Let Me Introduce My Friends - 2006


You'll know right away if I'm from Barcelona's Let Me Introduce My Friends is for you or if you should run fast in the other direction. Let's see. They have 29 members, they're from Sweden, they sing songs about oversleeping, treehouses, chicken pox, and stamp collections, and there's a lot of glockenspiel. And a vocal choir. If that didn't scare you away, that's good for you, because I'm from Barcelona is the best 29-member Swedish band ever and their debut is the cheeriest, happiest record to surface since probably the first Archies album. Sure, it's as twee as kitties and duckies, but the band has enough energy and pure joy to steamroll any of the negatives (preciousness, ickyness) that can be associated with the dreaded twee designation. Also in IFB's favor is their multi-talented leader, Emanuel Lundgren, who excels in all the important aspects of the record-making process. He writes instantly hooky and memorable songs (just try getting the chorus of "We're from Barcelona" out of your head after the first listen), he has a wonderfully rich and honest vocal style that would work in any setting but sounds great leading an indie pop choir, he is an adept arranger who doesn't just get his choir together and let them rip but rather weaves the voices into something wild and unique, and he's a fine producer and arranger. With so much going on in the mix, the final product could have easily been a bloated mess. It isn't. It's warm and inviting. The end result could also have been just a silly novelty with the subject matter and lineup, but instead it is a fully realized record with some real emotion on display. A song like "Chicken Pox" may appear frivolous, but when the choir kicks in, the band hits a melancholy groove, and Lundgren reaches deep for some vocal soul, it hits surprisingly hard. Other songs like the sweetly hopeful "Rec & Play" and the wistful "This Boy" (with Loney, Dear) also belie the surface cuteness and delve into something more lasting and real. Really, though, on the surface and at its core, Let Me Introduce My Friends is a brilliant pop record that delivers everything a classic pop record should: hooks, hits, happiness, and hope.-AMG




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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm from Argentina and this is what I'm shouthing: "thaaaaaaanks feller!". Such a nice resume of the album too. Cheers

Warga Sipil said...

i'm from indonesia.hehehe nice for ur share.. visit back my blog okey http://psipil.blogspot.com thanks :)

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