November 30, 2009
I suppose the big labels were hunting down Arcade Fire and Polyphonic Spree copycats a few years back. Some A&R guy got lucky and found a bunch of Swedes who happened to be a marriage of both bands. This is what they came up with.
There are a couple alright tunes, a lot of amateur production, and nowhere near the energy of real Arcade Fire or P-Spree albums. Just a bunch of talented, if unoriginal, musicians trying really hard to sound as cool as their heros for the first few songs, and slowly devolving into washy, listless nordic pop that is a shadow of the region’s many more talented acts.
Perhaps guilty of having too many cooks in the kitchen, I’m From Barcelona‘s liner notes list 28 1/2 musicians. The best track doesn’t kick in till #8 – coincidentally it’s Houdini. 28 people with one good song placed near the end of their album just doesn’t seem like a recipe for success.
This is disappointing. I like Sweden. And I like Swedish bands. And I like the packaging. But the record feels derivative and forced.