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Barbara


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Barbara
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Audio CD, June 15, 2010
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Music

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Biography

We Are Scientists shocked themselves and impressed many others with their 2005 debut With Love & Squalor, which sold over 150,000 copies in the UK on the strength of dancefloor standbys Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt; It's A Hit; and The Great Escape, as well as nine other songs that, to all appearances, people also liked. Twenty months of near-constant touring culminated in a sold out ... Read more in Amazon's We Are Scientists Store

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Barbara + Brain Thrust Mastery + With Love & Squalor
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 15, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: 2010
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: MRI
  • ASIN: B003FY8UC8
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,463 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Rules Don't Stop
2. I Don't Bite
3. Nice Guys
4. Jack & Ginger
5. Pittsburgh
6. Ambition
7. Break It Up
8. Foreign Kicks
9. You Should Learn
10. Central AC

Editorial Reviews

We Are Scientists is a band with two primary, famous members: Keith Austin Murray ( Keith ) and Christopher Ian Cain ( Christopher I. Cain ). A fantastic new record on the forthcoming Barbara, We Are Scientists recruited Andy Burrows (former hitter-guy for Razorlight) to drum. Andy moved to New York for the summer of 2009 and began work with Chris on that crucial rhythm sectionn trick: playing at the same time. Keith, meanwhile, decamped to Athens, Georgia, to take inspiration from the lack of New York accents, and the songs began to take shape. They recorded that fall in London, Los Angeles, & NYC. This geographical diversity could be seen as a metaphor for how disparate the three musicians are as people. Chris likes chicken, Andy likes lamb, while Keith is a vegetarian. All three appreciate beer, but sometimes, when drinking together at a pub, they order different brands. (That is rare, though.) It is a happy accident, then, that Murray, Cain, and Burrows were able to mesh their musical inclinations to such a compelling end on the songs of Barbara, a record that sees them return to the stripped-down production sensibilities of We Are Scientists' gold-selling debut, With Love & Squalor, while continuing to hone the melodic knack that has made them popular with fans and men who work for months at sea.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By The Pes on June 16, 2010
Format: Audio CD
This time around the boys from Brooklyn come out with a masterful album, after the off-kilter Brain Thrust Mastery. Barbara combines the catchy punk-pop of With Love and Squalor with the pop 80's style they went for in their second album. Along for the ride is new drummer (and former Razorlight member) Andy Burrows. I'm not sure if the inclusion of Burrows made the difference between the sophomore album and Barbara, but if it was then he's a welcomed addition to the former duo of Keith Murray and Chris Cain.

Barbara is a great album for those that like dance-rock. The album kicks off with Rules Don't Stop. This song really sets the tempo for the rest of the album. It's a catchy two minute song that really gives you a nugget of what's to come after it. Everything after that comes into step and you start to notice a great string of strong songs one after another.

The strongest of the bunch in my opinion are Central AC, Rules Don't Stop and Break It Up. Although, to be honest this is one of the few albums out there where you can listen to the whole list without a complaint. We Are Scientists have a good mix of tempos, songs like Ambition and Pittsburgh bring down the rhythm, but keep that calm and cool feeling of the album.

Give strong credit to the production as well, as this seems to be the cleanest sounding album that they've produced so far. Gone are the scratchy, garage band demo-like recordings of Brain Thrust Mastery, and in come more clean, crisp guitars and vocals. Which really add sparkle to some of the songs, and normally I'd be abhorrent to some of that sparkly, bubbly pop that sometimes corrupts songs of this nature, but here it's just fits. They found that right balance of pop and rock.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Anton Ochoa on August 19, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I really wanted to like this album. After all, I loved "Love & Squalor" and "Brain Thrust Mastery" (with the latter being my #2 listened album of all time!). However, I'm sad to say that "Barbara" is nothing at all like BTM and plays mostly like a pale, weak version of "Love". Which is to say, a real shame. It lacks the punchiness of the first album and the melodies of the second. I'm not sure exactly what these guys were going for on this album, but it's rare for me not to like even one track on an album by someone who I really love, but that's the case here.

The album meanders from song to song without any real sense of direction, and does not keep your attention. Forget melodies, the songs are bland and forgettable. The instant "you-are-there" immediacy of "Love" is gone, nowhere to be found on this album. Many have knocked "BTM" for being too "pop", but at least it was a consistent, solid album that was fun to listen to and had a variety of moods; the songs shifted easily from a rowdy late-night ode to closing time at bars to the sunny last track. I find very little to enjoy here on this album, though, and it's a real shame. There's no standout track and all the songs sounds basically alike. In all, a real letdown.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By gearhund on July 30, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Take a fun band, add too much production, and you get a disappointing mix. Too much vocal treatments. Too smooth guitars. No edge. I loved the cat album. This one is to be ignored. Would probably sound great live though!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Aaron on May 10, 2011
Format: Audio CD
A little bit 'o' mixed feelings from me on this one. Yeah Brain Thrust Mastery is still my favorite thus far so I was excited to see another album by these guys. They had an original sound with their sophomore album... that's why I was at first confused, feeling that they went to their With Love and Squalor groove on their latest. Don't get me wrong, Barbara is still a fairly solid album with nuances of BOTH albums (but mostly WLS). You have to decide what you really want from this album: WLS or BTM? With Love and Sorrow sounded like they were still finding their individuality and deciding how much of Franz Ferdinand and the Killers they wanted to channel in their own work. To me, Brain Thrust Mastery channeled a lot of nihilistic feelings, modern synthiness, retro 80's, and just a little bit of that "crooning white boy from the sixties" sound. That's what made BTM unusual. I still love these guys and I hope they keep experimenting and mastering their art.

Interesting to note: From the look of the other reviews here, it's boiling down to a tug'o'war between the With Love and Squalor Fans and the Brain Thrust Mastery Fans. But the bottom line is that the album is still worth buying if you like the band overall, which I do. BWAH!
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