Long Time Barrett Baber Fan and well known Blogger Trent Wooldridge Reviews "Falling Again" EP
I've been listening to Barrett Baber's music for more than a decade. From late night gigs in every smoky bar in Little Rock during my early twenties, to sing alongs with the car stereo in order to stay awake on the way home from Razorback football games, to dashboard drumming on family road trips now that I'm in my thirties, Barrett's music has provided the soundtrack for much of my adult life, right down to the first dance at my wedding. So when he asked me if I'd take a listen to his newest EP "Falling Again" the answer was an obvious and emphatic "YES".
The six songs that comprise "Falling Again" do a fantastic job of showcasing Baber's trademark versatility, expertly alternating accelerator-down jams with evocative ballads that together deliver a listener experience made for sunglasses and rolled-down windows. In complement to Baber's talents, full instrumental accompaniment and superb mixing provide a punch and polish to the album that keeps things fresh. Even after several times through the album, I keep hearing things that make me stop and go back to listen again.
The second song on "Falling Again" is its title track, a sweetly sung love song that folds soulful vocals into a tune with much more depth than I first gave it credit for. There is a lot going on here musically, and each new discovered element will only add to your enjoyment of the song.
"Somethin' Bout the Summertime" is the third song on this EP, and has quickly become my first favorite song from "Falling Again", though likely not my last. It's Barrett Baber at his best, which is pushing a driving, head-bopping beat with an enthusiastic vocal performance that will have you singing along just as quickly as you can learn the words.
"Tipsy on Wine" kicks off the latter half of the EP with a love song that takes the listener to the Caribbean (or at least Destin) with its lilting rhythm and romantic imagery. A song about a couple getting away from it all that lends itself nicely to showcasing Baber's versatility as a singer.
"Plan the Wind" is the fifth song on "Falling Again" and is to my ears the most classically country song on the album. From the percussion to the guitars to the encouraging tone of the lyrics, I was taken back to riding shotgun in my dad's truck as a boy in the early 1990s, listening to Y95 out of Camden, Arkansas. I loved that era of country, and "Plan the Wind" is a worthy throwback.
The final song on "Falling Again" is "Feeling That Way", a nod to the notion that maintaining a relationship can make just as romantic a love song as beginning one. It's a song Barrett Baber likely could not have written a decade ago, nor one that myself as a listener could have appreciated, but one that proves to have been well worth the wait.
I have been a friend of Barrett Baber for a long time, but I wouldn't still be listening if his music had gotten stale. I suspect he wouldn't still be playing if it had gotten stale, either. "Falling Again" is a hit with me because it shows his growth as a musician and songwriter while maintaining his own distinctive sound that he's cultivated over the years. If you're a new listener, it will be a hit with you because that distinctive Barrett Baber sound is pretty damned fun to begin with. Whether you're an old fan or new, I can say without hesitation that this album is worthy of your money and time, and that you should purchase it upon its release on May 8th.