Tuesday, March 13, 2012
George Barnett - 17 Days...debut of the year?
Regular readers will have noticed the name George Barnett cropping up a fair bit this year. There’s a good reason for this. At just 17 years old he’s been producing his own music for a number of years now. When I say producing I mean it too. He writes, plays, records and produces pretty much every note you hear. This is impressive enough on paper but when you listen to the quality of some of the stuff he’s coming out with (much of it recorded in his bedroom)...jeez...I think we have a serious talent here.
Whilst most teenagers would be happy to release the odd single George has just dropped (yeah 'dropped' I'm down with the kids) his debut album, 17 Days. I’m going to dispense with the superlatives and let the music speak for itself but suffice to say it’s one of the most impressive debuts you’re likely to hear this year. Stylistically George is well and truly flexing his creative muscles, ranging from the Beatles meets ELO opening number Apocolade through to the light 80’s pop funk of Cassi and on to more stripped back experimental stuff like the simple clap driven Make Me Smile. Then there’s Abraham, a weird but effective fusion of the Chili Peppers and...er...that spoken word bit that Vincent Price does in Jacko’s Thriller. And so it goes on. Just when you think you’ve got him nailed down as one thing he neatly swerves another way, sticks his tongue out (metaphorically speaking...he’s very polite in real life) and shows you a completely different side. I’ve not started on the lyrics yet either. Whilst the charts are generally stuffed full of nursery rhyme sing alongs George is clearly setting his sights as tad higher. Cop a load of this:
Most young kings get their head cut off
But no king held a Kalashnikov
Romance died upon Debussy’s rock
But I’ll always love you and I’ll never stop
Granted it’s no MIA (“My chain hits my chest when I’m banging on the dashboard, My chain hits my chest when I’m banging on the radio”...hmmmm funny that my head hits the wall every time I hear this lyric) but that, my friends, is a very, very good thing.
There are precedents for this kind of prodigious talent, Stephin Merritt (aka Magnetic Fields) and Rufus Wainwright instantly spring to mind, but whilst they can be a little challenging at times George has a knack for penning the kind of catchy tunes that the world will gobble up. Trust me. This is the beginning of something special.
Buy George! You can stream then download the album right here.
George will be touring the UK again soon. Check his site for latest details.