Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit //
Has the time come for Courtney Barnett to break out big? Perhaps, she was on “Ellen” last week. Find out what the BAM Team has to say, and leave your own comment/quick review below for the chance to win tickets to shows this week in SF.
BAM TEAM RATING:
It’s always satisfying when a young artist with a quality first album (or a couple EPs in this case) follows it up strongly. Courtney Barnett is now further reassured in her long drawling style of narration. The feel and tone is more widely ranged with Barnett rocking more on the heavy side as compared to A Sea of Split Peas. The album flows nicely from track to track and often sits in a juxtaposition of nonchalant vocals and heavy, poppy guitar riffs (“Aqua Profunda!”). This balance is delightfully unassuming and charming, lending the album to lots of repeat plays. Barnett is sure to start ripping up festival sets and rising up lineups. -Steven Wandrey
4 BAMS // Top Track: “An Illustration of Loneliness”
Courtney Barnett often finds poignancy amongst the mundane, connecting lines of poetic prose that sometimes boarder on non-sequitur logic, and there are also moments of brutal honesty that expose a history of personal crisis as she nakedly exclaims, “I used to hate myself but now I feel alright” on “Small Poppies”. Barnett has created a dynamic work that sequences wisely, bunching together similarly paced songs. “Elevator Operator” and “Pedestrian at Best” knock down the front door with a sledgehammer, then the next set of tracks slow things down and end with the beautiful “Depreston”, which possesses the tone of a would-be Real Estate song. Back come the galloping rock tracks for four songs before “Kim’s Caravan” aids in a post-rock slow burn right into a lullaby that puts the record to bed. The title is appropriate, matching the roller-coaster pacing of this introspection-meets-exhibition work of art. -Mike Frash
4 BAMS // Top Track: “Depreston”
From time to time, the discussion of whether rock ‘n’ roll is dead rises to the surface as there are great shifts in what the music-consuming public will support. For those who buy into that argument, take heart as there are many new artists breaking on the scene to breathe new life into the genre and most prominently Courtney Barnett. The first thing you notice is her vocal style, which is sometimes called “deadpan,” and that would cover part of her charm, but there’s much more to tickle the ears — there is also her songwriting. These tracks are infused with smart and often funny lyrics that flow from her like an endless stream of consciousness. This is a very full and satisfying album stylistically that takes us into many corners of rock ‘n’ roll, from the hard driving of the aforementioned tracks to the sweet pop sounds of “Debbie Downer” and many points between. -Tom Dellinger
4.5 BAMS / Top song: “Kim’s Caravan”
What a fun album! Courtney Barnett’s blend of stream-of-consciousness lyricism over crafty pop hooks makes for a good listen. I haven’t had the first two tracks of an album hit me like that in a while — very infectious. There is certainly a heavy 90’s alt-rock influence, in all of the best ways (think Matthew Sweet, Elastica and some Mazzy Star on the less pop-driven tracks). Perfect for your drive to the beach. -Andrew Pohl
3.5 BAMS // Top Track: “Pedestrian at Best”
What do you think of Courtney Barnett’s Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit? Keep the conversation going below with your quick review or comment! If we like your reply, we’ll hook you up with a free pair of tickets to your choice of show this week in San Francisco.
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Next Week: Carrie & Lowell by Sufjan Stevens.