BARB

BARB

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    5
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An Australian/New Zealand supergroup of sorts, BARB is nominally fronted by Liam Finn and features his sometime duet partner Eliza-Jane Barnes, Lawrence Arabia, and two members of Connan & the Mockasins, Connaan Mockasin himself and Seamus Ebbs. Everybody involved in the project has deep roots in music -- Finn and Barnes grew up with famous fathers -- and their eponymous album does have a relaxed, comfortable feel, with the quintet dabbling around with all manner of studio sounds, placing a considerably emphasis on feel over form. Which isn’t to say there are no songs here, but BARB is definitely a mood album, rolling steadily along in a thick haze, frequently stopping for spacious instrumental interludes before circling back to elliptical, open-ended pop songs. Nothing really catches hold but it’s not meant to: this music is meant to float. There’s a certain gauzy appeal to its warm shapelessness, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that BARB was made for the amusement of the participants, not the audience.

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