May 2015 National Music Reviews

Review: Barbarossa – Imager

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Imager cover
Barbarossa
Imager
Memphis Industries
Street: 05.11
Barbarossa = (Hot Chip / Junip) x (Sinkane / Caribou)
Imager is a melting pot of what has become, for me, some of the most recognizable sounds in indie music. These 10 tracks call to mind the moody synth ballads of early Hot Chip, the soulful grooves of Sinkane, the chattering electronics of Caribou and a vocal range that encompasses Jose Gonzales, Jim James and a bit of Aaron Neville on “Solid Soul.” While it all sounds similar to music I’ve heard and loved before, Imager carries a unique spiritual element to it. Much of this is due to the theme of silence that permeates the end of the album through “Silent Island,” “Muted” and “Human Feel” where lines like, “we suffer in silence” and “silence is a deeper thrill for me” clash to create an album that begs to be explored rather than passively enjoyed. There’s a powerful connection from artist to listener waiting to be discovered in Imager. ¬–Justin Gallegos
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Imager cover