We Are Scientists – Barbara
This shall be a relatively short review for a relatively short album in itself. At almost thirty minutes in length, Keith Murray and Chris Cain manage to deliver an album that despite its compact nature still manages to put forth a certain amount of spirit. Followers of We Are Scientists will be happy to hear that the band continues to adhere to that indie/alternative/post-punk revival rock that seems so popular with the kids these days. Although, in that same vein is an act that comes somewhat close to coming off as general mainstream radio-rock pop music. A disparaging quality to have in that such qualities can be a bit formulaic these days; whether that’s a good/bad thing is really up to the listener to decide however.
Infectious pop melodies aside, Barbara can be lauded for being stylistically consistent through out, and consistent with the bands efforts over their career for the most part (it comes close to matching their debut album in fact). There’s a fair degree of emotional variety here, with stripped down production sensibilities, and a physical limitation to being a three-piece band. Perhaps the band’s efforts with their second album, made a solid influence in the band returning to a more basic direction. There’s a lack of indulgence and comfort in the lyrics and structure to be heard here.
It’s unfortunate that the band doesn’t begin to take a step towards a slightly more serious tone until the final two or three tracks of Barbara. “You Should Learn” in particular was nice in that it had a particularly driving rhythm behind it. Props to these gentlemen whom, although appearing somewhat on the older side of the age line, still managed to produce some decidedly youthful-sounding music.