The Review Corner are huge fans of The Barr Brothers (brothers Brad and Andrew, and harpist Sarah Page) and after their last album saw them at a small venue, Page’s massive harp squeezed onto a tiny stage.
They’re a class act; slick songs expertly put together but with an appealing DIY / live feel, and a mix of Americana, blues and rock.
The last album had a monster blues / guitar track, Half Crazy, but the rest of the album was lower key.
This new album is more of the same, without the crazy blues track. It’s great. It’s gentle and thoughtful Americana but with a groove: Half Crazy’s appeal lies not in its ramshackle greatness but the hypnotic groove that underpins it.
Defibrillation opens, a powerful song as it takes its beat from the heart, and was written by Andrew Barr while holding the hand of a loved one in hospital (“Don’t die yet, man, I’ve nearly nailed this tune”). It’s a good song but Look Before It Changes is even better, opening in typical swirling Barr Bros sound. Song That I Heard is slow and lovely.
Maybe Someday is the first song with a great groove, lively but slightly mournful. There’s no Half Crazy but there is You Would Have to Lose Your Mind, the outstanding song on the album, with bluesy lyrics, melody picked out by the harp and a hypnotic bass line / drum beat, pretty much six minutes and 21 seconds of musical heaven.
Buy it, just buy it.