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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I am from Barcelona, 3 Feb 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Fawlty Towers fans are going to recognize the name of I'm From Barcelona -- that's what the waiter Manuel always says to explain odd stuff: "I am from Barcelona!"

But their debut album "Let Me Introduce My Friends" is nothing like Spanish music. Instead, this lovable, enormous Swedish band sounds sort of like a cross between Architecture in Helsinki and the Polyphonic Spree -- sunny, twinkly, shimmery pop music.

It opens with Emanuel Lundgren drawling, "Daaaaaaamn!/Oversleeping again/Daaaaaaaaamn!/I can't believe I did it once again." He then describes what he'll have to do to "make it on time." It's a mundane topic for a pop song, but it's framed with a sparkling pop tune full of catchy guitar, twinkly xylophone and the occasional bell chime.

The songs that follow are in the same mold -- the lyrics are about confusion, chicken pox, broken hearts, stamp collecting, and finding a spot for the perfect treehouse. And the songs wrapped in them are just as charming: folky pop, driving guitars, twee little sugarpuffs, shimmery bell-augmented pop, and the sprawling orchestral sound of "Olakola."

"Let Me Introduce My Friends" is basically pop for people who like bands with a slightly sugary sound, but a pleasant melody as well. "Let Me Introduce My Friends" is basically all sunshine, spring grass and childlike fun -- very charming.

You can't really single out any band members, since there are almost thirty of them, but the instrumentation is nicely polished and solidly played. The songs are wrapped in unstoppable swirling riffs, banjo, solid percussion, sweeps of wobbly and/or sputtering synth, rattling bells and what sounds like a xylophone.

Lundgren has a nice smooth voice, although at times he sounds a bit like he's singing a nursery rhyme. The lyrics are a bit short and simplistic, but they do admittedly sum up the childlike enthusiasm of the music ("You know I can't believe I'm telling everyone that I know/That every stamp in my collection is a place we could go!").

"Let Me Introduce My Friends" has rather simple songwriting, but deliciously twee pop and some solid, catchy tunes. Nice, unpretentious fun.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I am from Barcelona!, 21 Feb 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Fawlty Towers fans are going to recognize the name of I'm From Barcelona -- that's what the waiter Manuel always says to explain odd stuff: "I am from Barcelona!"

But their debut album "Let Me Introduce My Friends" is nothing like Spanish music. Instead, this lovable, enormous Swedish band sounds sort of like a cross between Architecture in Helsinki and the Polyphonic Spree -- sunny, twinkly, shimmery pop music.

It opens with Emanuel Lundgren drawling, "Daaaaaaamn!/Oversleeping again/Daaaaaaaaamn!/I can't believe I did it once again." He then describes what he'll have to do to "make it on time." It's a mundane topic for a pop song, but it's framed with a sparkling pop tune full of catchy guitar, twinkly xylophone and the occasional bell chime.

The songs that follow are in the same mold -- the lyrics are about confusion, chicken pox, broken hearts, stamp collecting, and finding a spot for the perfect treehouse. And the songs wrapped in them are just as charming: folky pop, driving guitars, twee little sugarpuffs, shimmery bell-augmented pop, and the sprawling orchestral sound of "Olakola."

"Let Me Introduce My Friends" is basically pop for people who like bands with a slightly sugary sound, but a pleasant melody as well. "Let Me Introduce My Friends" is basically all sunshine, spring grass and childlike fun -- very charming.

You can't really single out any band members, since there are almost thirty of them, but the instrumentation is nicely polished and solidly played. The songs are wrapped in unstoppable swirling riffs, banjo, solid percussion, sweeps of wobbly and/or sputtering synth, rattling bells and what sounds like a xylophone.

Lundgren has a nice smooth voice, although at times he sounds a bit like he's singing a nursery rhyme. The lyrics are a bit short and simplistic, but they do admittedly sum up the childlike enthusiasm of the music ("You know I can't believe I'm telling everyone that I know/That every stamp in my collection is a place we could go!").

"Let Me Introduce My Friends" has rather simple songwriting, but deliciously twee pop and some solid, catchy tunes. Nice, unpretentious fun.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish i was from Barcelona too., 11 Dec 2009
You'll know right away if I'm from Barcelona's Let Me Introduce My Friends is for you or if you should run fast in the other direction. Let's see. They have 29 members, they're from Sweden, they sing songs about oversleeping, treehouses, chicken pox, and stamp collections, and there's a lot of glockenspiel. And a vocal choir. If that didn't scare you away, that's good for you, because I'm from Barcelona is the best 29-member Swedish band ever and their debut is the cheeriest, happiest record to surface since probably the first Archies album. Sure, it's as twee as kitties and duckies, but the band has enough energy and pure joy to steamroll any of the negatives (preciousness, ickyness) that can be associated with the dreaded twee designation. Also in IFB's favor is their multi-talented leader, Emanuel Lundgren, who excels in all the important aspects of the record-making process. He writes instantly hooky and memorable songs (just try getting the chorus of "We're from Barcelona" out of your head after the first listen), he has a wonderfully rich and honest vocal style that would work in any setting but sounds great leading an indie pop choir, he is an adept arranger who doesn't just get his choir together and let them rip but rather weaves the voices into something wild and unique, and he's a fine producer and arranger. With so much going on in the mix, the final product could have easily been a bloated mess. It isn't. It's warm and inviting. The end result could also have been just a silly novelty with the subject matter and lineup, but instead it is a fully realized record with some real emotion on display. A song like "Chicken Pox" may appear frivolous, but when the choir kicks in, the band hits a melancholy groove, and Lundgren reaches deep for some vocal soul, it hits surprisingly hard. Other songs like the sweetly hopeful "Rec & Play" and the wistful "This Boy" (with Loney, Dear) also belie the surface cuteness and delve into something more lasting and real. Really, though, on the surface and at its core, Let Me Introduce My Friends is a brilliant pop record that delivers everything a classic pop record should: hooks, hits, happiness, and hope.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Why aren't they bigger?, 8 Jun 2007
Summer's here and it's time for lots of sunshine pop. Despite being nearly a year old, this album totally hits that spot. It's summery guitar pop along the lines of the Polyphonic Spree - but better. I was instantly hooked and those I have played it to feel the same. It's very catchy. In fact, there is a risk that it becomes so catchy that it pollutes your every waking moment - going round and around in your head. I can't understand why they are not everywhere.

Have a listen on amazon. You may have heard the beginning of Collecting Stamps on the T Mobile advert. Don't be put off by that. It's a great song.
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Let Me Introduce My Friends
Let Me Introduce My Friends by I'm From Barcelona
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