A twenty-nine person collective, named in honor of Manuel on Fawlty Towers, was always going to be an upbeat band, and Sweden’s I’m From Barcelona were just that on debut LP Let Me Introduce My Friends – but shifted to the orchestral and even sad with 2008 sophomore full-length, Who Killed Harry Houdini? (QRO review). Yet the new Forever Today is their most bright and shining to date, littered with up-anthems and other uplifting tracks.
The secret weapon on Forever, however, is its catch, which lifts the ‘up with people’ nature past banality and into sheer enjoyability. The upswing (and up-clap) to opener "Charlie Parker" sets exactly the right note for the record. Some songs are naturally superior to others – the great heart of "Always Spring", humor of "Come On", and endearing nature to "Dr. Landy" make them the best pieces on Forever, while some others suffer, like the repetitive "Battleships" or Passion Pit-y (in a way that too many are doing) dance number "Get In Line" (QRO mp3 review).
Who Killed Harry Houdini? is clearly more accomplished and skillful than Forever Today, but it’s not nearly as enjoyable – though there’s not that much that is as enjoyable as this album. I’m From Barcelona have hit upon what they do best.
MP3 Stream: "Always Spring"