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Anton Barbeau (with Su Jordan)

The Automatic Door (Shifty Disco)

By • Jan 16th, 2008 • Category: Album review

As a native of sunny California, Anton Barbeau has tried to distil as much sunshine as possible on new album ‘The Automatic Door,’ in which he is joined by Oxford’s Su Jordan who contributes her vocal talents throughout.

Not for nothing has Barbeau been labelled ‘quirky’ by the music press, and the evidence continues to stack up on this twelve-song strong collection, not least in the first track’s opening lines in which he proclaims his quest “to find [his] inner-hippy”. ‘Staring at the Sun’ however is a bright and breezy way to open this upbeat album, and the sunshine rarely dissipates thereafter.

The pastoral ‘Beyond the Valley of the Dolls’ and (but for the prominent sampled drumloop) ‘Went All Wrong’ could easily be peak-era Crowded House, whereas the louder ‘I’ve Been Craving Lately’ is reminiscent of Canadian pop-rockers Sloan.

Titles such as “Aw Gee You Can’t See” and “Poking Myself in the Eye to Spite My Finger’ may prove too quirky for some tastes, as could in-jokes such as ‘Who’s the Pony Now?’ And yet, this album gives the impression that with the right exposure, single, and perhaps if he particularly wanted to, Barbeau could easily make much bigger commercial waves than he currently does.

If Beatles-esque harmonies, crafted pop music and inventive lyrics are your thing, then this album is recommended and sure to please you.

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