Luna Kafé e-zine  Luna Kafé record review
coverpic flag Canada - Full Moon 81 - 05/16/03

Jim Barbaro
Gag Order Records

Jim Barbaro used to be in a band called the Magnetics. Since then he's made three solo records, this being his latest. He has a beautiful vocie and writes great songs.

"If Love is Blind" is bluesy and urgent, and has Barbaro and his backing vocalists singing up a storm. "I've Seen the Stars fall" has jazzy touches and subtle, spanish flourishes. There are also some cool spoken word bits. The bitter "Tribute to a Fool" paints a sad picture of lost love. 'My heart was a welcome mat where you wiped your feet' seethes Barbaro.

"Jade and Steel" is a delicate acoustic thing that has a lyric about two very different lovers. "Rose Bolero" is a poignant song with great guitar-playing. Its dramatic sound is highly appealing. The closer "Hanging on for Dear Love" is frantically good. Barbaro uses his flexible voice to its fullest.

Sketches is a great album, that offers a variety of styles, all done well.

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