BARROS – MORE HUMANITY PLEASE
Paulo Barros, most notable for being the guitarist in the Power-Metal band “Tarantula” is set to release a new album with his solo project “Barros” on June 29th. “More Humanity Please” is melodic hard rock album perfect for fans of Whitesnake, Van halen or any other Classic hard rock bands.
The album emphasises simplistic structures and straightforward songs and you get this impression fairly early on. The first track, “My Everything” sums this idea up. It opens with a chuggy, driving riff, accompanied by obligatory “yeahs” over the intro. The song rolls along nicely before taking a step back in the chorus, giving vocalist Ray Van D space to shine. His robust, soaring vocals are ever-present on the album and this song is a good example of his skill.
It’s worth mentioning that Barros originates from Portugal. So, English is not their first language, or at least that’s what I gathered. Whatever the case, the lyrics are, at times, a little on the nose. “Disconnect” deals with a pretty important topic: how people spend so much time looking at screens, instead of interacting with the real world. I like the message, but the lack of nuance and subtlety give the song an air of cliché. Despite this, I can’t help but love it. The vibe of the song, and the album as a whole for that matter, is just so earnest and endearing to me. The chorus is like a throwback to Whitesnake, soaring vocals, ascending and descending guitar licks and that vintage “bap bap bap” of the bass pushing the song forward. Great song and it encapsulates everything good about Barros.
As the album moves forward, I was beginning to worry that it was a little bit too formulaic. “Kingdom For a Day” and “Take me as I am” were enjoyable, if a little unmemorable, but they were very much in the same vein as the opening songs. At the halfway point of the album, however, we get “Tearing us apart”, a slower, swinging, almost jazzy number. It’s laidback and features clean guitars (in the verses at least), which allows the bass to carve out a groove and carry the song. It’s a nice change of pace, and it still has a killer chorus and guitar solo. Also, synths!
“When it Rains it Pours” more or less goes back to the well, a catchy melodic rock song with complex, up and down guitar work and almost Chris Cornell-esque vocals. The Mellow vide returns in “Live Before We Die”, a moody, atmospheric song with elongated, stretched out vocal melodies. It flows and builds nicely to more punchy and succinct vocals. The guitar work is almost reminiscent of a snake charmer. Its hypnotic and intricate and adds to the mood of the song. “A Love That Shines” is what you’d expect at this point. Punchy, riffy. Driving basslines, strong vocals. It’s a good song but, ultimately, filler.
The titular track, “More Humanity Please” is a soul-searching song about modern life as we know it. It’s simple: smooth, melodic guitars and vocals make up the verses while the chorus is epic and riffy. There’s also some cool backing vocals towards the back end of the song, it gives it a little something different. “How does it feel” is a fast, bouncing song that wraps things up pretty well. It’s familiar at this point but for all the right reasons.
Overall, “More Humanity Please” is well worth a listen. If you’re into ballady power metal then it is most definitely for you. While its formulaic at times and could be seen as a little bit ‘samey’, I can’t really fault it for that. It ventures into the unknown, experimentation wise, more than enough for me. I don’t expect to hear Barros covering traditional folk music, or experimenting with black metal, nor would I want them to. They stick to what they’re good at and, in my opinion, they are very good at it.
Review by Josh Farrell
More Humanity Please…”Track Listing:
01. My Everything
03. Kingdom For A Day
04. Take Me As I Am
05. Tearing Us Apart
06. When It rains It pours
07. Live Before We Die
08. A Love That Shines
09. More Humanity Please
10. How Does It Feel
PAULO BARROS – Guitar
RAY VAN D – Vocals
PICO MOREIRA – Drums
VERA SÀ – Bass
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