Last year Robert Barnett released Afterglow, which is an off-kilter album that revolved around acoustic guitar and his vocals. His most release Seasons & Time is very much a continuation of Afterglow with songs that feel like they were cut from the same cloth. Barnett’s strengths still lie in the inventive chord changes and technically proficient time transitions he pulls off.
Surprisingly, the first track “Daybreak” isn’t one of the stronger tracks on the EP. Barnett aggressively strums chord changes and even delivers a couple of notes that aren’t exactly flattering. All things considered it is a decent track but is far inferior to the haunting, melancholy opener on Afterglow entitled “Mid-Year Fall.”
Luckily, Barnett implements some of the traits on “Hunter's Moon” that made his first EP unique and defined. The guitar picking is fantastic and he sings within his range. Barnett’s lyrics are poetic and poignant when he sings, “Playing cards with chance, And he has an ace. Pushing weights to breathe, Lifting life and death.”
The next track “Jinx” is entirely instrumental and for those familiar with the album Behold The Spirit by William Tyler will hear similarities to the guitar playing. “Jinx” could have been shortened by about a minute or so but is still a solid track.
“Open Road” is only a little over two-minutes long but is the arguable highlight. The guitar line is more engaging than the vocals on this track. Barnett pulls off impressive transitions with his guitar. If “Open Road” isn’t the highlight of the EP then “The Girl Who Played” is. It is a well-written track that plays into Barnett’s strengths when he sings, “When she got, Up to roll, On that day. Fate said that it would choke. Destiny woke, And had a word to say.” He closes with a solid instrumental track entitled “Charlotte” which is an emotionally resonant song that also happens to be technically impressive.
I like the fact that Barnett hasn’t added additional instruments to the mix. He is one of the rare artists whose songs seem to be fine with very sparse instrumentation in the mix. Afterglow and Seasons & Time were recorded in close time space to each other, which is why I’ll repeat my sentiment from my first review. I have a feeling his best work is going to be ahead of him.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook