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Jared Bartman: Misery Makes Strange Bedfellows

Misery Makes Strange Bedfellows

(Jared Bartman)
Genre: 
Release Date: 
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Grade:
C+
Format: 
Digital
Tracks: 
9

Midwestern singer-songwriter Jared Bartman will be releasing his latest full-length effort, Misery Makes Strange Bedfellows, later on next month.  Although the musician does contribute to the ever popular indie folk genre, listeners might be surprised by the amount of Latin influence in the Peoria, IL native's work.  The diverse stylings may divide opinions about the record, but the soothing raw sounds should easily find an audience.

"The Cool of Your Temple" opens the album and showcases Bartman's soulful, spiritual harmonies that dominate most of Misery Makes Strange Bedfellows.  Unfortunately, the track ends rather abruptly after a running time just north of a minute.  The next pair of songs, "In Belize" and "Jackals," feature the aforementioned Latin influence with string arrangements and a tango-esque feel on the latter.  Other standouts on the album include two pleasing easy listening tunes in "Therese" and "Garden Gate" whose beautiful guitar work could go on forever.

I greatly enjoyed the fun "You've Been Drinking Again," but its repetitiveness will probably wear thin on the ears of some listeners.  Bartman's vocal delivery doesn't vary much throughout the album allowing the softer tunes to get lost in the stylistic shuffle.  Speaking of stylistic choices, I can't help but wondering if fans of indie folk want to hear Latin tunes on the same record and vice-versa?  Regardless, the raw scraping guitar sounds prevalent on Misery Makes Strange Bedfellows certainly deserves to be heard.  Recommended for eclectic listeners who enjoy pop, folk, and Latin influences.

Cody Endres
Review by Cody Endres
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