Trying to categorize Jef Barbara is near impossible. Not only does he flip between singing in English and French; but he’s also somewhere entangled in disco, pop, electronica, synthesized-loops and vocals, and even the occasional guitar riff that sounds like it’s straight out of 1987.
Contamination, the new album from Montreal-based musician, Jef Barbara, is a mish-mash of sound and lyrics; with no two songs sounding the same. In fact, each one is so unique to the one before and the after, the album sounds more like a compilation than a streamlined record by the same artist.
Although the album is primarily one that invokes the listener to dance, and ideally, grind up against a pulsating neon sign that promises sex and drugs, Contamination isn’t without the necessary ballad to show there is more to Barbara than scripting a night club anthem. “Homme Universel” is the eloquent piano-based, softest moment of the album and the song on which you can fully hear and appreciate the delicate warbling of Barbara – and it’s truly lovely.
Jef Barbara has created an album that you’ll want to add to that “ten albums to bring to a deserted island” list, because this is the kind of stuff of which you’ll never get bored.
You can download the first track, “Larmes de Crocodile,” here.
By: Amanda Chatel
“Wild Boys,” from Contamination: