Album Review: Barnes Courtney
Words by Ava Butera
Going into Attractions of Youth, I knew it would be very hard for be to give an unbiased review since I have supported Barns Courtney since the release of his EP, The Dull Drums. Courtney is an extremely talented artist who puts his heart and soul into every song his writes. And this album is no different.
Prior to the release of The Attractions of Youth four different single were dropped, giving listeners a taste of what was coming from Courtney’s full-length debut. After multiple listens, I was instantly hooked on his newer sound and for what was to come from the full release.
Previously, Courtney released The Dull Drums EP, which was comprised of five tracks. Courtney includes every song from the EP onto this debut album. I’m not very fond of this move when artists choose to do this. The point of releasing an album is to give listeners more material to consume, not infiltrate the new songs with older ones we all know and love.
The powerful song “Fire” is first on this album and I would like to applaud Courtney for his placement of it here. This song drags listeners in to Attractions of Youth with its in-your-face instrumentals and vocals. Acoustic guitar heavy instrumentals make up almost the entirety of Attractions of Youth and this sound really works for Courtney. His deep and raspy vocals complement the guitars well.
At first listen, new and old fans alike can draw similarities to notable folk/rock bands such as Kings of Leon. Courtney’s voice is something truly unique and unlike other artists in the alternative scene at the moment. His musical style is definitely an ode to 60’s and 70’s rock bands, and his voice makes this connection very prevalent.
The first single released from the album is “Golden Dandelions” and out of all the songs on the album, this one shows Courtney very vulnerable without being too obvious. It’s a compelling track that is bound to be stuck in your head all day. Going along with the same theme, vulnerability, “Goodbye John Smith” is a piano driven track that portrays Courtney very well and broken down. In an album full of power and upbeat tracks, these few ballads fit nicely on Attractions of Youth.
The majority of the lyrics revolve around the same themes and therefore makes the album very cohesive. However, I feel like Courtney could have switched it up a bit and perhaps added more songs instead of ones from his previous EP. Courtney is very talented and this album was produced and crafted very well. Attractions of Youth is a decent debut album, but still nothing particularly special. I do, in fact, recommend this album to any fans of rock ‘n’ roll and folk/rock bands! Definitely check this one out!