I did not know what I was getting myself into when I first listened to The Wire’s newest album Red Barked Tree earlier this year. I have not heard any of their previous albums. All I knew was that they have release what some people consider important post punk albums. On that first listen I was impressed by most of the songs. Since that first listen, I have come back to this album and keep finding more things to like about it.
The best way I can describe the album is calling it new wave Britpop. Red Barked Trees starts as a mellow album, but has its moments of very organized chaos later on. The lyrics are more impressionistic then storytelling. Which feels perfect for the album. Since the songs stronger point are the guitars than the vocals.For my personal taste the down tempo songs, like Please Take and Adapt, are the better songs in the album.
The album is not radio friendly. For the most part, the songs sound out dated. I think that the advantage radio listener would right away say that songs were done in the 80’s, or maybe even the early 90’s. For me the album reminds me a lot of Crowded House, and New Order.Which not bad company, just not current sound. Also, the order of the songs is a bit strange. The album starts with slow tempo songs then jumps to a faster tempo then back to a slower tempo and so on. The rhythm of the album is very off. It makes it a bit distracting and hard to enjoy the whole album is one.
Even with that, the more I listen to Red Barked Trees The more I like it. It’s hard to recommend this album to everyone. I really wish I could. I know it is not for everyone, and I also know for the most part it will be forgotten about this year. But when someone makes a good album you have to give them credit. 4 stars out of 5
- Wire: Red Barked Tree – review (guardian.co.uk)