Chad Barela: Lonesome Road
Posted June 25, 2013
The 21st century has brought with it many great things: iPhones, Silly Bands, twerking, imitation hipsters, microwaveable obesity in the form of TV dinners, etc. However, the one thing that came with the 21st century that can, at times, be not quite as good is the overproduction of music. There are so many "artists" out there today who use an overabundance of autotune and a multitude of effects on their music that it can hardly be considered art anymore, but rather a bunch of overproduced noise. All it takes is a computer and a little software and anybody can become an instant musician. So, sometimes it is refreshing to find someone with real talent - who can actually sing and actually play some kind of instrument without the need of vast amounts of effects. Chad Barela is that guy. He has a mesmerizing voice that will draw you in from the very first line of the very first track; and the instrumentals are soothing and perfectly balanced between the vocals.
"Seasons of Life" opens up the short EP with one of the more tranquil songs in which Barela talks about the changing of our lives as being like the changing of seasons. It is definitely one of the more minimalistic songs on the five song EP, with mostly just a guitar and Barela's voice playing on the track. "Sleepless Nights" is a song about love and missing someone so much that he cannot sleep just thinking about missing them. I absolutely love the violin on the chorus, and how seamlessly the track seems to flow.
The third track, "Lonesome Road," has taken its turn as being my favorite song on the EP, partially because of how full it sounds instrumentally and production wise as well partially because of how much I can relate to the lyrics. In the song Barela talks about leaving life behind and going on an adventure and just living life. There are times when I can honestly say I have thought it would be great for me to just pack up and leave my life behind for awhile. (Obviously this is not much of an option since I am in high school and I am pretty sure my parents would not approve. It is a nice thought though.) When I got to this song for the first time is when the genius of Chad's music struck me.
"Wanderer" has slowly creeped in to become my favorite track on the record. One of my favorite memories from this past year is from a few months ago when I sat on my roof and listened to this song on my iPhone, singing along to this song - and this song alone - for about a half an hour. It was exactly what I needed to hear and did a better job of soothing me than I think anything ever has before. The wanderlust aspect of this song, as well as how very minimalistic it is, is what appeals me to this song so much. If I ever feel like I want to just go away from my crazy life this is the perfect song for me to listen to. The EP closes out with "Closer Than I Appear," which was originally my favorite track of Barela's. It has a different feel to it than any other song on the EP. It definitely has a much more uplifting and fun sound to it, and it also has some sweet background vocals that add nice layering to the song.
From an artistic perspective, I would consider Lonesome Road an amazing project. This is art. Very few people can pick up a guitar and play and sing and make it sound good, and this is not just good, but great. I listen to this project on a consistent basis. Based off Barela's lyrics alone I feel like the two of us would be friends; all the stuff he talks about in each of these songs hit a chord with me and express a lot of my own thoughts. I can relate to every song on Lonesome Road, and I think many will be able to as well. The guy can sing. He can play guitar. And he knows how to make some pretty good music. I am always on the lookout for new artist with great sound, and I think I may have found one of my new favorites. Also, did I mention he released it all for free over on Bandcamp?
Favorite Song: Wanderer
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from The Christian Music Review Blog. Click here to visit today!
View All Music And Book Reviews By TCMRB | View TCMRB's Profile