Carl Barat - Death Fires - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Carl Barat - Death Fires

by Matt Massara Rating:5 Release Date:2011-05-02

It's virtually impossible to review any creation of Carl Barat's without referring to his past and undoubted fame with 'The Libertines. But the years go by and both Carl and Peter Doherty release new musical creations which reach bridges further from Up the Bracket with each release.

The Death Fires EP follows suit and broadens our perspective of Barat as a musician. Carl's voice is once again the driving force. Many have grown up with the softness and familiarity of Carl's voice. He is very much like Huw Edwards from BBC news or Matt Baker from The One Show. You've grown up with that assuring voice and you're likely to continue to hear it for a long time to come is some form or another. This form is Death Fires.

The EP opens with a song called 'The Final Turn' and is an instant hit. If Jason Stratham decides he wants to be the lead for a recreation of Reservoir Dogs in East London, he knows he can rely on this tune to be a reliable theme. Centered around three core notes thundering from the bass, Barat dictates this punchy track in the right direction. All ears are attentively hooked to each strut of lyrics, with every audience member cricking their neck to the beat. The chorus then immerses the audience in a medley of softly controlled guitar riffs. This song is a true reflection of all the positives Barat brings to a band.

The second song, 'All I Want' provides a more acoustic, gypsy theme. The song is powerful, but lacks the catchy rhythm that Barat is famed for. It is from this point here that the EP becomes something of a one-track EP. The two songs which follow, 'Imagine' and 'Cardiac Arrest', change the tone completely. Both focus on creating a mood through piano symphonies in conjunction with Barat's serenading voice.

It seems that this style could be a step too far for audiences who fondly reminisce of Barat throwing his guitar around to 'Death on the Stairs' or 'Time for Heroes'. These songs push Barat too far from his roots, imaginably towards a Barbara Streisand support tour before releasing a charity song with Kate Bush and Maria Carey. It is threatening when a familiar voice conducts actions unfamiliar to the listener. Like discovering Sue Barker is doing a photoshoot for Nuts magazine.

But I don't think that the overall review of the second half of the EP should deter fans from enjoying 'The Final Turn'. This shows that Barat is continuing to produce solid tracks and promises to deliver more. Therefore, should you listen to Death Fires just for the one track? Would you go online just to see if Sue Barker has actually gone for a Nuts photoshoot? Probably worth just a look, to check what it's like.

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