#reviewoftheweek / The Barr Brothers - Sleeping Operator

Leaving their jam band roots in the rearview mirror is easier said than done. While artsy and improvisational are virtually non-existent on their latest album, they've embraced the rootsy aspect of their previous musical life and delivered one of the year's subtly great albums. Bluesy roots rock seems to suit the Barr Brothers, who's previous band, the Slip, was rooted in improvisational jazz. "Half Crazy," the lead single from the album, bridges the gap from jam scene to indie rock with ease, showcasing the organic nature of their musical style, while exhibiting a sound that could be straight out of Nashville. "Even The Darkness Has Arms" is a cool introduction to the Barr Brothers' indie sound, but it's the second track on the album, "Love Ain't Enough" which separates their present from their past. It's great that the song is the first on the album to feature vocals (it's track 2) because it sets the stage for an entire album of mystery and excitement, capped off by a feeling of pleasure and joy upon completion. The Barr Brothers' music has transformed by leaps and bounds from their first album, and have proven that songwriting and musical skill go hand in hand when creating an album that combines both artistry and familiarity.