If a Pitchfork review falls in the blogosphere, and no one posts about it, does it make a sound? Marc “5 reviews a week” Hogan dropped an 8.4/Best New Music on I’m From Barcelona this week, and I don’t think I’ve seen a single blogger try to play catch up.
Probably because this record is really easy to hate. Like The Boy Least Likely To, most of it is precious beyond belief, cuter than being buried alive under a mound of fluffy, pink-furred kittens. The band has 20+ musicians, so most of the extra/cute instruments are overkill (aside: how many people are in Belle & Sebastian? Plenty.) and lots of the songwriting is, well, barf-inducing: “I have built a tree house / I have built a tree house / nobody can see us / it’s a you and me house.” Jesus Christ. At least when Raffi did “Baby Beluga,” he was performing for 5-year-olds.
That said, there are some absolutely killer songs on this record. Some of them are even serious: “Chicken Pox” has a pretty brilliant metaphor for true love, and “Ola Kala” moves smoothly from breakbeat to Britpop theatricality.
So, it’s a mixed bag, but certainly worth a listen – especially if you can stomach all the cheese. At least it’s easy on the carbs.
(Hear loads more on MySpace)
I should mention that this is growing on me and I’ll probably love it by the end of the year. I’m trying to be strong.