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Barbara Ann - Ode to my Freaks

  by John Clarkson

published: 12 / 2 / 2003

Barbara Ann - Ode to my Freaks
Label: Pretty Face Records / Windswept
Format: CD


'Enjoyable and fun' pop punk, which, despite a dodgy cover, finds former Florida model Barbara Ann showing herself to be 'the natural sucessor to ...the Donnas, the Go Gos and the Runaways'.

The packaging of 'Ode to My Freaks' promises very little. Its airbrushed monochrome photograph of the perfectly groomed Barbara Ann ; the Beverley Hills address of her record label, Windswept Pacific, and the 'Anarchy' motif whch also adorns the sleeve are all suggestive of a spoilt little rich girl, with too much money to burn on Daddy's credit card, playing at being a punk. In fact this is far from the truth. A little background research reveals that, while she is a former Florida model, the attractive Barbara Ann earned her rock 'n' roll warpaint the hard way through the release of a previous EP 'I am Barbara Ann' and by steady touring, before moving to California a year or so ago to try her luck out there. The thirteen two and a half minute punk-pop anthems that comprise together 'Ode to My Freaks' show that Barbara Ann, far from being another Avril Lavange or Kelly Osborne wannabe, is the natural successor to the far grittier and more durable Donnas, the Go Gos and the Runaways. That is not to say that 'Ode to My Freaks' doesn't have its flaws. It undoubtedly does. The helium-voiced Barbara Ann has the tendency to shriek a lot of her vocals. Much of the lyrical subject matter is very trite, telling of an endless succession of boy-girl relationship grief traumas, while the album's two ballads, 'Wish' and 'Awake' both sound constipated and dull. When Barbara Ann chooses, however, to rock out, she proves that she can do so with the best of them. Her studio band includes Greg Hetson from Bad Religion, and the majority of the songs displayed on 'Ode to My Freaks' have a buoyant catchiness to them. Her gutsy vocals also shine through with a similar natural rumbustiousness and exuberance. 'Ode to My Freaks' may perhaps not be a masterpiece, but it is enjoyable and fun. At just 32 minutes long, it is also just about the right length, leaving one wanting more, rather than outstaying its welcome. It is a pity about that cover though. A lot of 'Ode to My Freaks' is really very good. It deserves to be heard by more than just a pre and early teen audience.

Track Listing:-
1 domino
2 inside out
3 pepe' ling
4 wish
5 little little loverboy
6 too fine
7 foregn song
8 head
9 awake
10 whack
11 trash
12 ode to my freaks
13 i can give you more

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