WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2008|
If there was an award for the 2nd catchiest song titled "Paper Planes" released within the last year, it'd hands down go to this group. I'm From Barcelona are a 29+ member band (!) counter intuitively hailing from Jnkping, Sweden. Led by songwriter Emanuel Lundgren, the bands' latest offering Who Killed Harry Houdini? (Mute) is a goldmine of indie pop paradigms - vibrant instrumentation underneath intelligent, poppy verses interspersing grandiosely memorable choruses. With the manpower of a small nation, I'm From Barcelona are able to cover miles and miles of terrain across the musical spectrum with astonishing charisma and dexterity. In that regard Who Killed Harry Houdini? is the bands' own rewrite of the indie pop guidebook - only this time, its contributions are written with 29 different shades of glitter pen.
The opening track "Andy" is an orchestra of rich indie instrumentation that blends into the pop stomp mastery and booming chorus of "Paper Planes." "Headphones" is a mandolin driven pop crescendo complete with xylophones and mandolin strums reminiscent of Architecture in Helsinki. "Gunheld" demonstrates the bands' agility as it tackles slower, Broken Social Scene style balladry with finesse and careful attention to detail. "Mingus" is another pop standout that incorporates handclap breeziness to the bands' symphonic wall, showcasing the bands' pop sensibilities against their backdrop of talent.
Overall Who Killed Harry Houdini? is a wonderfully executed crash course in colorful, indie-pop wizardry. I'm From Barcelona have demonstrated a real mastery of their musical armament, and in doing so have not only rewritten their potential, but have crafted one of the better albums of 2008. - chris gayomali