I have finally gotten around to listening to I’m From Barcelona‘s new album Forever Today (Mute Records/EMI Sweden) and I have to say, I’m not impressed. When this band burst onto the scene in 2006-2007 with Let Me Introduce My Friends, the Swedish band’s cutesy, repetitive lyrics about tree houses, mix tapes, and stamp collections was adorable and fresh in a musical world over-saturated with bands trying too hard to make an epic political statement with their music. Flash forward five years and one would hope to hear a matured sound from the band, with maybe a little more meat to the songs.
Instead, we are given another album with repetitive verses, more synthesizer sounds, and lyrics that seem appropriate for a kindergarten sing-along class. Most of the songs repeat the same verse two, even three times, with the sing-along chorus in between. I’m not saying I need Shakespeare-intensive writing for music to speak to me, but seriously, this music sounds like it belongs in a Nick, Jr. commercial. It seems unoriginal and like the band members didn’t try very hard to do anything but pen some cute rhyming lines, sing some “la la las”, and exploit the over-used hand clapping and straight 4/4 rhythm that can make pop music incredibly boring. Every song is so incredibly repetitive that a simple three-minute song feels like it goes on for six. At one point they fill lyrical space by singing “Twinkle, twinkle little star!” (Dr. Landy) The lyrics of this album just seem very juvenile and boring.
I was really hoping to hear something inspiring from this album, but it fell short. The lyrics are incredibly predictable and lacking any sort of depth or reasoning. That being said, this album isn’t terrible to listen to; it’s simply another danceable, hand-clappable, sing-alongable, indie-poppy I’m From Barcelona album. With 29 band members, I hope they can pull together some new ideas for their next album and through us listeners for a loop.