Barnaby Bright
Wake the Hero


3.5
great

Review

by SowingSeason STAFF
March 5th, 2011 | 8 replies | 6,033 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Beautiful indie-folk is just the tip of the iceberg for this up and coming band.

Barnaby Bright’s Wake the Hero combines stunning vocal harmonies with heavy string sections to create a sound that is always smooth. The fresh-coat-of-wax buff gives their debut the sound of a work pieced together by seasoned musicians, a class that husband-and-wife duo Nathan and Rebecca Bliss will soon join with their current rate of rising exposure. Longtime dwellers of the underground New York/Philadelphia indie scene, Barnaby Bright has exploded in both maturity and recognition, with a safely consumable but undeniably gorgeous sound that has earned them features on the hit shows ER and Days of Our Lives, along with scoring third place in an international song-writing contest. Conspicuously mainstream in their mannerisms, Wake the Hero shows us that marriage between indie-folk and pop can score big time accolades while maintaining its dignity.

Poignant lyrics help link the album’s sleek sound with the band’s masterfully crafted indie-folk credentials. One could cite ‘If I Came Back As a Song’ as the album’s most rewarding and complete track. The meticulous intertwining of deceivingly complex acoustic picking and lines such as “I wonder if I could come back as a song / I’d make my home inside a folk record sleeve / So you could play me when you’re feeling down / I would wrap you up inside my happy sound” take the artificial shine off the record and place the music right next to your innermost desire for companionship. The album doesn’t duplicate this rate of success on a continual basis, but the occasional diamonds are enough to lift the album’s overall image to one that is more emotionally probing than it actually is. The vast majority of Wake the Hero, however, relies on a combination of acoustic guitars, heart-tugging strings, and duets between the pair of skilled vocalists. While constantly engaging, there is frequently too little to distinguish one song from another (or Barnaby Bright from their contemporaries), leading Wake the Hero to drag on occasion. However, even during these low points, the clear vocal talent of the Bliss duo combines with the band’s pleasant sounding strings to prevent the album from sinking to unlistenable levels. Thus, at its worst, Wake the Hero is a forgettable exercise in easy listening.

Wake the Hero provides a steady platform for Barnaby Bright to construct its empire. The band illustrates tendencies towards a more mainstream style of indie, but they also possess the musical background to create an honest, return-to-roots type of record. Or, perhaps, they will continue to fuse together elements of both as they have on this debut…either way, they appear primed to excel. For now, this is an album that plainly shows what Barnaby Bright is capable of, even if all of that potential isn’t encapsulated within Wake the Hero.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2011



15893 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

http://barnabybright.bandcamp.com/album/wake-the-hero

really brief write-up, a close friend of mine caught these guys at an exclusive show at a bar in philly. picked up this cd, it isn't half bad def. seems like something people could get into



Digging: Maybeshewill - Fair Youth

DonniSharK
March 6th 2011



466 Comments


Excellent review. I'm gonna check it out.

Tyrael
March 6th 2011



20828 Comments


Excellent review as always Sowing.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
March 6th 2011



15893 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks guys, hope you enjoy it if you decide to listen. It's pretty chill and soothing.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2011



7177 Comments


Solid stuff Sowing. Can't say that this sounds right up my street though.

Also, I still have lots of Sowing-recommended-music that I need to get around to LOL. I should do those first ahahaha.

Digging: Ty Segall - Manipulator

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2011



15893 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I guess it doesn't help that I write so many reviews (most of which are positive) lol

Tyrael
March 7th 2011



20828 Comments


Write more negative reviews plz you're crowding my iPod...
Also: bump because this review (and the album) need more attention.

scissorlocked
March 7th 2011



3509 Comments


the review is great, and the album seems fun





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