If I had to choose a name for the new Barton’s 16-track album, “Simple Songs” would be the last thing I would think of. The tunes are too sophisticated to be called so. Well, probably, if I consider them from another perspective, I could say that they are simple in a way that they are easy to listen to and pleasing to the ear. But not in any other way.
It’s hard to define what music genre the artist is working in. You listen to a track from the album and think it could be progressive rock, but then you hear something that makes you confused: some Akon-sounding voices, electronic frills and other unexpected turns. So, let us call it “Barton fusion”.
Barton collaborated with six other artists who sang on some of the tracks: Jennifer Nau, Tara Walker, Katie McNeely, Paul Kane, Jessica Spiegel and Mari Lane. That makes the product even more manifold and hard to describe as one piece.
All in all it sounds pretty careless and uplifting to me. Light and upbeat Some Day will make you want to dance. More intense Road To Nowhere will astonish you with its dynamics and leave you breathless. Hurt Me will win your attention with its exciting blues improvisations and boldness of the tone. Listening to hard and heavy The Dead Hand you will be wondering if it’s still the same album playing. Another surprise. Throughout the album Barton doesn’t cease to knock your socks off. The Big Dig holds the vibe of the previous track, resonates with it, but it’s more fun, – sounds like a heated squabble between two frienemies, dwelling in a love-hate relationship for way too long; and though they call each other names, it feels rather cute and inoffensive for you know they are just not indifferent to each other. Palo Alto shows a more starry-eyed Barton, who wants to find a place where he “can live the dream”. Glamour In The Sky is just as original and peculiar as it gets. This tune is something truly unusual. Creatively different way of mixing effects and styles resulted in a sound that could possible give birth to a brand new subgenre of music. Terrific. More blues notes can be found in The Red Line, – swing with the groovy rhythm of the track.
Barton has got his own way in approaching music. I have never heard such a diverse set of songs in one album. Probably, the songwriter simply couldn’t stick to just one idea and wrap all his works around it, – he surges with a million of insights and he is keen to apply all of them. Well, I enjoyed listening to Simple Songs, though I still strongly disagree with the name. I suppose, it’s yet another gimmick of Barton’s; or, probably, he is too busy creating his remarkable tracks, that he just doesn’t bother about the name of his album, – the music will speak for him. Another hypothesis is that Barton truly considers the tunes simple. Then we should be looking forward to his next album to check out, what “Not Simple Songs” are like.