| Sound

I’m From Barcelona – Let Me Introduce My Friends (2006) – EMI

This is possibly the catchiest record ever released. If you are anything like me that may sound like a turn off, but bear with me. Now usually an album of such infectious pop-indie songs would have me running as if from the plague, but not this time, oh no. I simply could not help but be swept along with the optimistic energy and melodic, riotous fun that streams from the speakers with every single song. A 29-piece band and chorus from Sweden, initial impressions from the cover art and press gumpf were that I’m from Barcelona were gonna have real trouble impressing me. The surprise truth is that any resistance I might try to have to their happy-go-lucky music is fighting a rearguard action from the first bars of opener ‘Oversleeping’. By the time lead single ‘We’re from Barcelona’ lights up on the playlist that token attempt to remain critical has utterly, utterly failed, so I give in and allow myself to simply enjoy the record exactly as was intended. Combining simple carefree lyrical content and intimate vocals with fantastic choral and musical arrangements, Let Me Introduce My Friends is a joyous record, uplifting and truly beautiful in its harmonies and in the melding of countless instruments and voices.

The only criticism I can think of at this moment is that many of the songs (as well as the album itself) feel too short, which of course is more compliment than condemnation anyway. Penultimate track ‘Barcelona Loves You’ is particularly teasing in its early cut-off from a rising crescendo of voices set to a rhythmical percussive pounding. Really, though, there isn’t a bad song on the record (although ‘Treehouse’ could be considered too repetitive). I can’t think of anything more to say save that I personally found this album impossible to dislike despite its inherent disadvantages as a catchy, feel-good indie piece from the continent. I suggest that you track it down and buy it post-haste, if for no other reason than it is the perfect hangover record.


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