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(42:13, Transubstans Records)
The Swedish band BARR has been around since 2006, and has two full length albums to their name so far. "North Atlantic Blues" is the most recent of these, released by the Swedish label Transubstans Records in the spring of 2012 on their Sakuntala sublabel. Barr is a band firmly cemented inside the acoustic rock universe, drawing inspiration from traditional folk music first and foremost, but without coming across as a strictly folk-oriented band. On this occasion a few nods in the direction of blues have been implemented and the occasional touch of Americana too, as well as distinct psychedelic touches throughout. Light toned compositions with acoustic and electric guitars supplying harmonizing details to solo or harmony lead vocals, backed by careful but energetic rhythms is a nice general description, with organ and piano adding some additional flavors. Final piece Hanoi Haze is just about the only exception, with its slower, dream-laden and distinctly more psychedelic oriented expression. To me this is also the standout item on this disc, a fine manner in which to conclude a strong overall production. Drawing inspiration from traditional folk music, including the occasional nod to blues and Americana and flavoring it all in a subtle but distinct psychedelic coating is what Barr's second full length effort "North Atlantic Blues" is all about. Not an album that contains a great deal of surprising features, but if a high quality, light-toned and optimistic creation of this kind sounds interesting I'm pretty certain that this is a CD you should enjoy.
Olav M Bjornsen: Agst 18, 2013
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