Album Review: Barns Courtney - 'The Attractions Of Youth'

Having fallen in love with Barns Courtney when I saw him play Great Escape Festival back in 2016, and he has finally put out an album! 

'The Attractions of Youth' opens with the beast that is 'Fire', then it is followed by 'Glitter & Gold' and 'Hands', these are all the tracks that we have fallen in love with, but we have heard it all before. Personally I would of loved to seen more of a mix up at the start, maybe throwing in some new material that I haven't heard yet. Don't get me wrong, I adore these original singles, but it would of been good to start with something fresh.

Sometimes though, you have to start at the beginning before you can adventure on, as the album takes you on a journey of Barns' musical tastes and styles. It is bluesy, its full blown pop at times, and then it's raspy and sexy all in one bowl. And even bits of country with tracks like 'Little Boy'.

Like his live shows, he likes to keep you on your toes.

Barns Courtney has quite a standout sound when it comes to his vocals, the slow parts, the melodies and when he full blown belts out a note during the chorus of his big tracks. However 'The Attractions of Youth' sees him being even more adventurous, pushing his vocal abilities to different levels.

The stand out track for me, is the outstanding ballad that is 'Goodnight John Smith', its it proper old school, with a Tom Waits/David Bowie vibe to it. It sees a new side to Barns, where we are used to a foot stomping style when it comes to his music. 'Goodnight John Smith' sees him delicate, and exposed, and it is brave. A brave track indeed to put on this album. And it pays off well, because it is a miles ahead favourite for me personally.

As first albums go, its a good start, I can see him developing further with his sound, and maybe adventuring into new styles and genres. Barns Courtney has never been a one-sound sort of guy, and 'The Attractions of Youth' certainly proves that. As it's adventurous, it's old school, it's brand new and it's sexy, while also holding intact what we fell in love with in the first place, which is Barns Courtney.

Review by Ant Adams

"The Attractions of Youth' is released the 29th September 2017