I'm From Barcelona review

ALBUM REVIEW


I'M FROM BARCELONA

WHO KILLED HARRY HOUDINI?
MUTE (2008)

The mood of I’m From Barcelona’s songs ranges approximately from sugar giddy to cherry-coke drunk. If their first full-length and E.P. sometimes overindulged in bouts of ironic cuteness, it’s a relief to see that with Who Killed Harry Houdini the 29-piece band seem to have, well not exactly grown up, but at least reached pre-adolescence. Remember when you got your first two pubic hairs but still wanted to watch cartoons and eat marshmallow cereal? This is the soundtrack to when the sugar wore off and you had to face the inevitable trudge towards adulthood. Good times.

Houdini aims at slightly more elaborate storytelling and succeeds in hitting moments of real intensity, such as the crashing chorus of Music Killed Me with the Beatles-esque harmony that fades out the song.

Then there’s the guilty pleasure of the first single “Paper Planes”, a song difficult to describe without using words like “jolly pop ditty”. Frontman Emanuel Lungren recounts anecdotes about life in a shitty apartment with bizarre and overly libidinous neighbors. If Lungren finds it tedious, it’s not reflected in the jangly, celebratory silliness of the music, with its fat harmonies, stomping kick-drum and triumphant flutes and brass.

In fact what IFB have achieved is real wit, a slightly refined childhood sensibility. Cutesy, yes, but hey what is Swedish pop music for?

:published in Amplifier Magazine October 19th 2008

Comments

  1. A. Jourgenson30/10/08 10:13 pm

    Well, it really does make me want to hear their music despite the fact that I gave up the old marshmallowy cereal a long time ago.

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