ALBUM REVIEW: Barns Courtney – 404 | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Virgin EMI

Released: 06.09.19






Aiming for a mass audience seems to be a risky strategy in the pop universe. Neither fully committing to interesting, experimental risks nor veering too far off the commercial/pop sound of the day; Barns aiming for the middle ground often results in, well, middling output.  

Very much a tale of two halves, Barns Courtney’s 404 is frustrating in its confirmation that pop comes alive when it drops its aim for the masses and explores new territory.  Starting off with a stale/ uniform sound (Hollow, You and I), and coming alive mid-way through the album (London Girls, The Kids are Alright), 404 has all of the ingredients a strong pop album needs, apart from its main one; ambition. 


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