The title of singer-songwriter-musician Eric Barao’s new album is an obvious dig at how some people might view his style of music. Which in itself a tragic commentary on the state of modern pop music, when such densely textured, melodically/harmonically fecund work can be dismissed as irrelevant in 2019.
While the severely limiting term “power pop” might be lazily bandied about when discussing Barao’s songwriting and delivery, it would be more accurate – in my opinion – to label the music found on Obsolete, especially in the contemporary context as “art-pop”.
Naturally, there is a tendency to assess songs like the baroque “Nothing to See”, the crunchy guitar driven “Unhappy Ending” and jaunty R&B-inflecting title track as somewhat ‘retro’ – which is more a reflection on form rather than substance.
From this perspective, these six songs are absolutely as substantial as they need to be, without having to bother oneself over something as superficial as style. There is so much embedded into the musical arrangements that bear repeated listens just to facilitate discovery and appreciation.
Obsolete will be released on April 2nd.
For more information – http://ericbarao.com/
… still there’s more …