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Anton Barbeau

In the Village of the Apple Sun

(Four Way; US: 13 Feb 2007; UK: Available as import)

Anton Barbeau’s tenth album is plastered with sounds, styles and arrangements that makes you want to dust off the Beatles albums post Sgt. Pepper and seek chewed up cassettes of Robyn Hitchcock and XTC. This is exemplified on the quirky but clever “Murray Boots Are Conquering the World”. Barbeau has all the tricks up his sleeves and he’s not afraid to use them on the heady, psychedelic-tinged “This Is Why They Call Me Guru 7” and the spacey “Mushroom Box, 1975” that resembles the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Barbeau has this format nailed down pretty pat, especially on the mid-tempo and meandering “The Eye on My Hand”. The lone irritating aspect of the album is that it’s littered with brief interlude tracks that try to tie everything together but often don’t. However, even these delays can’t detract from an infectious nugget like “On a Bicycle Built for Bicycle 9” and an oddly enjoyable “The Bane of Your Existence Is My Name” that brings Donovan to mind. The first letdown is the mediocre “Creep in the Garden”, which probably should have been weeded out of the record. But Barbeau saves his best for the title track, his falsetto in the same musical vein as Roger McGuinn or Tom Petty.

Rating:

Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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Anton Barbeau - "On a Bicycle Built for Bicycle 9" (live)
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