I'm a sucker for a good pop song.
Seriously, as long as the hooks are huge and the lyrics dance off the singer's tongue, I'm in.
And show me an album loaded with good pop songs? There's a good chance it'll stay in my player for weeks. Case in point is the new album from Toronto's Matthew Barber, "Ghost Notes".
Barber's a pretty great lyricist, but the music really shines as well on this album, which is split between rock stompers, folky pop, and piano-driven slower songs, all of which are catchy as hell.
Must musicians can't pull off the rock/folk split-personality thing well. Many have tried and failed, but the few who do it well are legendary...Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews, Bob Dylan come quickly to mind. Not to say that Matthew Barber belongs to that lofty group just yet, but "Ghost Notes" would certainly not be out of place in a stack of that gang's CD's, next to the backyard boombox, waiting to be spun on a lazy weekend afternoon.
Having said that, I'm very interested in hearing Barber play these songs live. Thankfully, he's out on the road for a few dates, and is giving New Yorkers a couple chances to check him out:
Matthew Barber Live:
May 12 Living Room - NYC
May 13 Union Hall - NYC (with Jill Sobule)
May 14 Milltown - Carrboro, NC
May 15 Farm 255 - Athens, GA
May 16 Criminal Records - Atlanta, GA
extrawack! wants to give one lucky reader a pair of tickets to Barber's show at Union Hall in Brooklyn on Wednesday night. The third email to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Matthew Barber" in the subject line gets them.
Matthew Barber - "Easily Bruised" mp3
Matthew Barber MySpace
Matthew Barber - "And You Give" video: