Release Date: Apr 19, 2011
Record label: Mute
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Pop, Chamber Pop, Swedish Pop/Rock
I’m going to go out on a bit of a limb for a moment here, and make a comparison between the new I’m From Barcelona album and Broken Social Scene’s 2010 Forgiveness Rock Record. That might seem like a stretch to those familiar with the twee sounds of I’m From Barcelona (and they’re not – they’re Swedish) and the more experimental starkness of BSS, but there are reference points between both bands that are, well, similar. I’m From Barcelona is a collective made up of, at maximum, 29 members, just like Canada’s Broken Social Scene boasts a huge rotating cast of characters.
Sometime after the release of I’m from Barcelona's melancholy to the point of tears Who Killed Harry Houdini? album, life must have gotten better for the band’s leader, Emanuel Lundgren. Released in 2011, Forever Today restores the sunny disposition and breezily melodic attitude of their debut record, with only an occasional cloud looming overhead, but also a deeper emotional context and impact. Recorded live in two sessions, the record has a marvelously loose and unaffected sound as the huge band (22 members strong) fills in the tunes with horns, percussion, and group vocals.
I’m From Barcelona is known both for being the biggest band in Sweden (currently 27 members) and for the convivial, bacchanalian, whatever other words mean “clusterfuck-of-awesome” atmosphere of their live shows. Which is why it makes sense that the band made the conscious decision to record the entirety of their third album, Forever Today, live in studio, all 27 bushy-tailed members playing and singing happily in Scandinavian harmony. The album was recorded over two sessions, the first a five-day sit-in that involved the whole crew living, eating and recording together in Gothenburg.
With infectiously playful pop music bursting with energy at the seams, Forever Today is another album full of anthems and lyrical hints of angsty melodrama in lighthearted Swedish style. Emanuel Lundgren leads the way as author of most of the band’s sound, orchestrating what pure fun might sound like if set to music. Particularly inspired by old ’50s rock and roll like Little Richard and Fats Domino, the group does not disappoint its impulses, even if they’re stuck on repeat.
One of the guys in I'm From Barcelona's latest video is wearing an A Place to Bury Strangers T-shirt. To anyone familiar with either the sunny Swedish collective or the gnashing Brooklyn pedal-mongers, this juxtaposition ought to be a little strange, maybe even funny. Sure, A Place to Bury Strangers issued their bleakly pummeling debut the same summer Emanuel Lundgren and his beaming band of Swedes were charming the crowds at their first-ever Lollapalooza, which proves-- actually, it proves absolutely nothing.
CAM’RON & VADO “Gunz N’ Butta” (E1) JIM JONES “Capo” (E1) Cam’ron has two things his protégés can learn from him: how to rap and how to live. They’re emphatically not the same. For more than a decade, Cam’ron has been nurturing one comer or another, but with mixed results — most of them learn how to show off, but only a handful learn to put words together like the boss, a master of intricate sneers.