I'm from Barcelona
Let Me Introduce My Friends
First Appeared in The Music Box, March 2007, Volume 14, #3
Written by John Metzger
With the title of Iím from Barcelonaís debut, mastermind Emanuel Lundgren declares, "Let me introduce my friends." Considering the size of his outfit, however, that proposition may take awhile. Rivaling only The Polyphonic Spree in the breadth of its composition, Iím from Barcelona boasts 29 members, but those who are squeamish about the robe-wearing, cult-like ambience of the former band are likely to find the latter group more palatable. Its music is equally uplifting and grandiose, but rather than applying its chorus of voices to material that is indebted to the intricacies of progressive rock, Iím from Barcelona embraces the simplicity of sugary, radio-friendly pop.
Throughout Let Me Introduce My Friends, itís impossible to escape the notion that Lundgren is utterly infatuated with Brian Wilsonís Smile. In fact, his lyrics largely are derived from the childlike giddiness of Wilsonís Vegetables. With odes to sleeping late, building tree houses, and the collection of both stamps and music, itís safe to say that making a powerful statement is far from Lundgrenís mind. Yet, silly as his words may seem, they are well suited to the joyous buoyancy of his arrangements, and his melodies are as infectious as "the chicken pox, the German measles, and the scarlet fever" about which he sings.
Adorned with harps and kazoos, strings and horns, banjos and accordions, the songs on Let Me Introduce My Friends collectively assume a symphonic quality, and the innocent air of love and happiness that lies at the heart of Iím from Barcelonaís musings inevitably becomes intoxicating. The biggest problem, however, is that after the euphoric feeling the album induces begins to reside, it quickly becomes apparent that thereís little substance behind the set. Still, the entirety of Let Me Introduce My Friendsí 38-minute duration is filled with such ebullience that while it is playing, a smile is bound to cross even Eeyoreís gloomy face.
Let Me Introduce My Friends is available from
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2007 The Music Box