Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Barton Carroll: The Lost One

Barton Carroll, who's done side-man time with Crooked Fingers and Azure Ray, assembled a fine band of his own for his second album. Carroll's character-driven lyrics swing perilously between clichéd and original, but mostly fall on the right side of the line: The opener, "Pretty Girl's Going To Ruin My Life (Again)," finds him drinking scotch in the rain and concluding "it's a fine way to spend the day." Though he's a bit too inclined toward five-minute dirges, his band picks up the slack with taut folk arrangements. And "Brooklyn Girl, You're Going To Be My Bride" is an early candidate for novelty song of the year: Just as the title suggests, it's about a simple country man fearlessly courting a girl "drowning in boys and hipster noise."


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