Warren Barfield

Reach

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AllMusic Review by

Warren Barfield's new opus Reach is the right way to speak through your music. It kicks off with a grand statement; "I'll Be Alright Is the Right Way" is the perfect way to explode out of the gate. The cut drips with seasoned guitar riffs, bouncy feel-good piano, and an over-the-top breakdown. Barfield puts his stamp here creating a relevant vibe that testifies to a good songwriter. The richness of these cuts takes you places. Barfield's vocals are passionate, at times with a '70s vibe that has the richness of Cat Stevens, or Al Stewart, while at others he churns it up with a hint of Dave Matthews and Third Eye Blind. "Saved" mixes acoustic and electric guitars. As the guitars build dynamically the cut's chorus takes you away. Speaking of guitars, with "Head Held High" Barfield grooves with electric and acoustics, a Hammond B-3, and an earthy, retro-clavinet that grabs you completely. The cut also oozes with a retro-groove. The guitar playing on the disc is some of the best this year. Check out the riff on "Unleashed." or the funky feel of "Shadow." Here is testimony why nuances prove less is more. When he eases into "Take My Life" the disc takes a tremendous turn. With a ballad, the lushness of every instrument shines. Whether it's the B-3 playing, the riffs, or the musicianship, every piece of the puzzle fits. From beginning to end Reach feels right. It sounds like friends playing music that they were meant to play. The musicians sprinkled throughout the disc all play within their space and do it very effectively. This is definitely a release to reach for.

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