Barrie-James ‘Strange Desire’ Album Review. Featuring Lana Del Rey and Ashley Campbell by Roctavia Rose.

Like a distant rolling thunder on a dusty western horizon at sunset, Barrie-James’ sultry voice rolls into your airwaves to kick off his new album, ‘Strange Desire’ with his latest single ‘Angry Man.’ This alternative country album has hints of classic rock, oldschool cowboy travelin’ jaunts, & a smoldering sex appeal like none I’ve heard before. When diving into ‘Country 33. Feat Ashley Campbell,’ it’s almost like you can smell the fine scotch swirling around an intricately carved crystal glass, & smell aged finely tooled saddle leather as Campbell & James pair up for a definite toe tapper. James’ voice then hauntingly rolls through the atmosphere in a vintage echoing tone throughout ‘Solid Rose’ while James assures his lover that she’s the one. 

Barrie-James ‘Strange Desire’ Album

James pours dreamy young Bob Dylan vibes from his vocal prowess in ‘Pretending Not To Breathe.’ The melodies of this tune send you adrift on a cloudy sea of night sky as the harmonica rolls in to remind you that you’re still alive & here on earth in order to anchor you from completely drifting away. Next James gallops in with ‘Emerald Girl’ which is another bright & upbeat traveling tune. As we delve further into Barrie-James’ ‘Strange Desire,’ with ‘Bad Girl,’ we can feel more of a dirty Rock ‘N’ Roll vibe that is oddly accentuated with an early Beatles feel…but it so works! You can definitely get a taste of who James’ musical influences might possibly be.

Which brings us to the title track, ‘Strange Desire.’ This one is heavy with lamentations of wanting. It bounces back & forth between airy acoustics & muted heavy/grit guitar backing. This could be to portray the juxtaposition of innocently having such desires & the need for having them met. Either way, it’s definitely one to inspire a sense of inner conflict between darkness & light with the two contrasting guitar tonalities.

‘Open To Magic’ is an airy dreamer of a tune that initially didn’t have as much impact as the earlier tracks but provides a nice palette cleansing transition to the back half of the album. ‘Anything’ is another tune that sends me back to early Dylan feels. Definitely a tune that you can sit cross legged on your faux fur rug, with a mug of tea, flipping through pages of your favorite book to. ‘That’s Alright’ & ‘Lady Alone’ inspire more dreamy classic rock vibes that will pair perfectly with any scenery from a road-tripping adventure out west. 

Which brings us to the jewel that is ‘Riverside’ featuring Lana Del Rey. Baby…let me tell you, this one brought tears to my eyes. It starts off with the most gorgeously haunting piano, drifting guitar melodies, intricately weaved into Barrie-James’ soothingly lovely vocals…then we are transported & wrapped up in Lana Del Rey’s hauntingly entrancing vocals. This grand collaboration is a wondrous conclusion to a vision, capping the intrinsic beauty of this track, & album as a whole, off as the listener softly wakes from the alternative country dreamscape that is ‘Strange Desire’ by Barrie-James.

Get your copy of ‘Strange Desire’ here from Amazon.

Barrie-James ‘Strange Desire’ Album


Love & Rockets ~ Roctavia
Barrie-James ‘Strange Desire’ Album. @ Rock News.



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