Artist – Dave Barnes
Album – Stories to Tell

Album Length – 11 Tracks: 38 minutes, 32 seconds
Street Date – March 13, 2012
Label – Razor & Tie
iPod Pick – White Flag


I first came across Dave Barnes in a Christian Single (life way resources) magazine interview years back where he boldly proclaimed in the interview how he was awful at writing anything other than love songs. I was sincerely wowed and one thing I loved about the interview was how he said he still held on to his christian faith nevertheless.

Dave’s music is folk with a bit of acoustic and pop influenced. It’s not music you would choose for a worship set list, not at all. Artist such as Jason Mraz, Mark Schultz, Matt Wertz and probably Mat Kearney ( yes his ‘City of black and white’ project) would come to your mind once you put in his new record (Stories to tell). Caution! It gets really jazzy and highly instrumentally focused on ‘ Heaven Help Me’. It sounds like something from a Switchfoot meet N Sync album (can you just imagine that?) on ‘White Flag’ and honestly this track might just get you dancing at its refrain. It’s a lovely tune of second chances. Also on this track, lines like ‘forgiveness is the chorus in our rebel song’ would win you over. It’s also got a Samba flavor plus a Motown throw back in it’s BGVs. I can’t say enough of this particular song, you just need to listen.

Things slow down on ‘Love will be enough for us’ and gets a bit rocky on ‘Seventeen’. ‘Missing You’ shines in the normal Dave Barnes style adding a bit of the sweet rock bangs of Match Box Twenty or say Keane but it also utilizes well the beautiful BGVs that is all spread out all over the album. ‘Find Your Way Home’ is a bold step in the direction of penning music that last a long time such as the classical ‘Swing Low’. In fact it makes good use of the negro spiritual vibe.

Lovers of great instrumentation, Jazz and artist like John Mayer, Robin Thicke and John Legend wouldn’t mind something a more pop influenced jazz sound on this album. It’s diverse, it’s bold, it’s more like a concert music but it would do good for room music on a reflective day. Heard of Dave Barnes before? Yes or no, you should check out this album.

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