Friday, 13 May 2011

Barbara Panther - Barbara Panther

If you saw our post on Friday about Barbara Panther's single Moonlight People, you might think you have an idea of what her music sounds like. I thought I did, too. Lilting vocals, catchy chorus, electronic-ish backing music. That sounds like the blueprint for an album to me.

Like me, then, you'll probably be surprised when you actually hear the debut album, Barbara Panther. Not least because it opens with rumbling bass and somebody beatboxing the Pac-Man music. I'm gonna say that again, because I don't often get the chance: beatboxing the Pac-Man music.

Seriously, even if you hated the single last week, you should check out the iTunes previews of the album tracks. It's pretty conceptual stuff, brave for a debut album, and actually pretty well done.


High Points

Did I mention the beatboxing of the Pac-Man theme? I did? Well, it's bound to be the high point for plenty of people, and it's right at the start of opening track Rise Up, so that's good.

Track four, Voodoo, is where the catchiness reaches its peak. The song is imbued - yes, imbued - with an infectious energy and a mantra urging the listener to "move over to the other side". It's not actually going to persuade anyone to take up voodoo as a hobby, but I can imagine throwing down a few witch-doctor-stylee shapes on the dance floor to this one.

The Verdict

This album is not for everyone. It's not generic, mass-market music that will please teenagers and grandparents alike. I'd say anyone up to the age of 30 is in with a pretty decent chance of enjoying it - beyond that you'll probably think "it's not really music". And that's fine, because like I've already said, some of the songs on Barbara Panther are frankly quite strange.

If you're a fan of modern music, stuff that sounds a bit different to the norm or just catchy, samples-based, electronically themed tracks, check this out. It's genuinely enjoyable to listen to and I wouldn't mind hearing more from Barbara Panther in the future, which is about as high a compliment as I ever dish out.

Marked down slightly for its niche audience, but higher than it might be because, well, I like it.

Final Score: 70%


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