[27 April 2009]
Joey Barro (former frontman of SoCal band The Antiques) isn’t striving to uphold a tradition on this, the premiere of his new performing persona, as much as he is trying to make his own way while staying mindful of the past. According to press material, Barro grew up with a love for luminaries like Dylan, Van Morrison, and Simon & Garfunkel and now seeks not to “replicate” their music “but to acknowledge and update it.” Mission accomplished. The twelve tunes Barro offers here retain a timeless, often high-spirited rock sound while showcasing his significant talents as a songsmith.
With the aid of Mother Hips leader (and Season to Season producer) Tim Bluhm, Barro has created a pop gem from start-to-finish. Well-versed in sprawling psychedelic rock (“Driftwood Doll”), bouncy Beatle-esque jaunts (“A Sleep Be Told”) and folkie anthems (“Only a Nightmare”) Barro helps the album maintain a cohesiveness, with his melodic gifts and a wealth of rich instrumental arrangements. On other standouts like the ramshackle “Satchel Paige” and lovely album closer “I Know My Ocean”, Barro hints the tradition he shares with his influences is one of great songwriting.