Anton Barbeau

Anthology, Vol. 2

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Even the greatest eccentricities on this collection are forgiven in the face of Barbeau's blissful pop touch. "Xmas Song" is the greatest song Robyn Hitchcock never wrote, with a vein of chiming, euphoric pop that can be traced back to the Byrds. The lyrics show some typical Hitchcock oddness, with a holiday call to "keep the chestnuts safely from the penguins." Just to further prove himself an enigma, Barbeau follows the crystal-clear beauty of that track with one of the most grating songs on this collection, "Little Bleep Bleep," with its roughed-up power chords and murky production topped off by Barbeau's Elmer Fudd vocal stylings. This is an inconsistent collection of lo- to medium-fi odds and ends that in its brightest moments attests to a rare pop talent.

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