Honestly, I’m not sure how I’m From Barcelona works. Boasting twenty-nine members at one point in time, it seems like there must be a hierarchical system within the band, or else I don’t see how they could ever accomplish something with combining the creative genius of each member. Regardless of the inner-workings on this band, they produce catchy pop songs, despite any amount of time, or any change in membership. Forever Today is no exception.
While their last album was considered a bit of a set back for this Swedish super group, Forever Today is definitely a step back up to the fun sound that this group originally had back when they released Let Me Introduce My Friends in ’07. “Charlie Parker” begins with some classic synthesizer and those sweet and savory gang vocals that you’ve missed. From this first track, it’s evident that I’m From Barcelona has got their spunk back, and this album is going to be a restatement of that glorious energy. If the first song isn’t convincing enough for you, “Battleships,” two songs later brings some killer bass lines and the hint of handclaps, and as we know, handclaps always make for a great time. By the end of this one, you should be tapping your feet, joining together with this giant group of musicians.
One of the greatest qualities of this band is that since they have so much going on, and so many members, it feels easy to sing along and immerse yourself in the music with them, as if you are just hanging out with a bunch of friends. On “Always Spring,” another tasty pop song relies on the twinkling of some keyboard and the for-real handclaps. It’s a mixture of the energy that this band thrives on, with some serious undertones that are emphasized with the horn work pandering somewhere in the background amidst layers of other musical elements. This is perfect example of just the right amount of spirit combined with grace and elegance.
In the middle of Forever Today, it starts to feel like I’m From Barcelona are about to lapse back to their lackluster performance from the last album, but they manage to save it from that sad fate with a boost from “Come On,” which urges us to “let go” and “be free;” exactly what you would expect from this band. They finish things up with another on of those songs that mix their energy with thoughtful music with the title track, “Forever Today.”
As opposed to the all or nothing sound that we have been introduced to from this band’s first two releases, it seems that they have finally found a way to a happy medium, and it is certainly an enjoyable balance.