July 10, 2021

Anton Barbeau: Oh The Joys We Live For

photo: Julia Boorinakis Harper

After the sprawling concept album Manbird, it is back to basics - well, sort of - for Anton Barbeau. The underground psych-pop maestro offers a collection of songs about life, love, death and beer on his new one, Oh The Joys We Live For. He is in fine form - some artist are just not capable of making a shit album - with his sharp eye and ear to find inspiration, and it doesn't matter if it is mundane or highbrow. The tender I Love It When She Does The Dishes, with lovely backing vocals by Julia VBH and Sharron Kraus, sits comfortably to the barely contained anger of It's Alright Rosie - apparently Barbeau can run out of patience after all - and the horror of Three Days The Death Enigma. His knack for surrealistic lyrics is allowed to roam free in Salt Lick (spoiler: it has to do with tears, minerals, and there is a bucket involved).

The title track Oh The Joys We Live For is a plea to count your blessings and the joyous When Life Brings You Beer is a dead ringer for summer playlists. Just to show that he can write outside the pop formula, Barbeau included the cinematic instrumental Filmik. He puts the polyphonic analog synthesizers Prophet-6 and Prophet-5 to good use in Die Smiling, a track that fans of Steven Wilson will like. He has been releasing solo albums since 1993, catering to an appreciative fan base who can't believe their luck that their hero is so prolific - 33 albums and counting.

Anton Barbeau: vocals, guitar, keyboards
Rosie Abbott:: vocals (4,6)
Kevin Allison: guitar (8)
Rosie Abbott:: vocals (4,6)
Sharron Kraus: vocals, recorder, flute (1,5,9)
Adam Leslie: vocals (1)
Bryan Poole: guitar (5,7)
Fred Quentin: saxophone (10)
Julia VBH: vocals (1,5,7)

Anton Barbeau: Oh The Joys We Live For

Oh The Joys We Live For is released via Big Stir Records. Release date: July 16.

  1. Oh The Joys We Live For
  2. Cowbell Camembert
  3. One Of Her Super Powers
  4. Filmik
  5. Crystals
  6. When Life Brings You Beer
  7. I Love It When She Does The Dishes
  8. It's Alright Rosie
  9. Three Days The Death Enigma
  10. Die Smiling
  11. Salt Lick
  12. I Been Thinking 'Bout You

» antonbarbeau.com

HCTF review of Manbird.

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