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CD REVIEW: Barton - Falling Out

By: Cyrus Rhodes




Artist: Barton

Album: Falling Out

Label: Independent Artist

Website: https://www.facebook.com/kenneth.barton.52

Genre: Alternative Rock, Classic Rock, Jam Band

Sounds Like: Todd Rundgren, Weezer, Bon Iver, Elliott Smith, Shins, They Might be Giants

Technical Grade: 7/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 8/10
Best Song: The Crowd, Dodgeball, Hell to Pay

Weakness: Mix, Winded Songs, Marketability


Oregon based Barton (Petal's former guitarist) has created a rock album so eclectic that no song provides even a hint as to what one might find next. This album is for those who enjoy the craft of carefully woven songs loaded with surprises and some wicked guitar work is entitled Falling Out and was released in 2012. 

The CD kicks things off with “I Didn’t Know” a slamming rock groove ditty that serves up Americana guitars, driving rock rhythm against no holds barred fretwork from Barton and impressive harmonies. Track 2 “Auditory Porn” and “Dodgeball”  shifts gears a bit with heartfelt vocal delivery meshed with rocking guitar driven groove that flows and ebbs it’s way though to emotional fruition. Track 4 “Sweet Sincerely” keeps things moving with its rock steady guitar ambience, impressive vocal harmonies and melodic vocal feel. As the CD quickly unfolds I can hear influences ranging from Rush, to Todd Rundgren, Bon Iver, Elliott Smith, The Shins and even They Might be Giants to Weezer. The music has everything you would expect from a melodic guitar driven Alternative Rock  CD. The vocals are effective, melodic and straight forward. The guitar playing is hot to the touch. There are also touches of Classic Jam band but with a 70’s Psychedelic-Rock flair. Barton’s vocal style works extremely well with this style of music. I might add his timing is spot on and his vocal intensity strives to not try to hard – dead in the pocket. I also noticed a few hot to the touch guitar solos along the way. Barton is an accomplished guitarist no doubt. Rhythm section - lays down the low end groove thick as a brick. What I like most about the music is its sheer easy going groove and song for song vibe. By track 5 the CD hits solid stride dishing out many impressive songs in a row. This latest CD from Barton delivers 15 tracks all providing an interesting snapshot of an amazing artist with thought provoking lyrical wisdom with messages that are entertaining, passionate and extremely captivating. From my personal favorite “The Crowd” to rocking “Hell to Pay” to heartfelt “Green” and “How Far”  to melancholy “Just Like Anyone” thought provoking “Balance in my Head” this CD pretty much has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 15 “Think it’s a Sin” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.

All songs over 3 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. This is not the most dynamic/polished mix I’ve ever heard. To be more specific I don’t like how saturated the vocals sound. Barton needs to modernize not so much his writing but his overall sound a bit. However I will add this approach does match the retro style of music pretty good. CD tends to sound a bit repetitive song for song. Some of the aforementioned issues do affect the CD’s overall marketability.

This latest release from Barton is a rock solid musical statement from start to finish. It's strength – the strong song for song consistency and impressive songwriting touch that keeps coming at you. At the end of the day Barton is just a fun and carefree artists to check out. There’s not a weak song on this entire catalogue period! The musicianship is first rate, the songs are consistent musical experiences. Each one possessing a unique personality, flair, and signature groove. The music is rock solid, grooving and will get you jumping. What am I trying to say? Barton rocks the house that’s what!

Cyrus Rhodes

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