I Am From Barcelona – Forever Today

written by: May 13, 2011
Release Date: March 21, 2011


I’m From Barcelona is a confusing band name with the 29-member group actually hailing from Sweden. They formed in 2005 under the lead of singer, Emanuel Lundgren, for a homemade EP and one-time performance. Sing!! gained so much buzz that they were signed to EMI Sweden.

The band is known for their pop songs that were so sweet you could taste sugar. The group took a break from their typical cheery pop format for their album 27 Songs From Barcelona in 2010, in which each member of the band recorded a solo song. At last, I’m From Barcelona has made their return to the indie pop world with Forever Today.

Forever Today is firmly footed in pop, which leaves it feeling mediocre. While I’m From Barcelona has the potential to be a standout album, there weren’t enough risks taken with the music. Nonetheless, Forever Today can be a fun summer album while spending your final moments with hometown friends before you go wherever you’ll call home.

I’m From Barcelona may be recognized for their infectious pop yet, but Forever Today excels with the gentler, breezy songs. Tracks like “Always Spring” boast uncomplicated rhythm, oozing pianos and luxurious brass. The lyrics are equally straightforward, discussing things desired: “Somewhere it’s always spring.”

“Skipping a Beat” is another placid song with a dizzying melody and an airy piano. Closer and title track, “Forever Today” starts with robust horns, which lend the song an air of colossal strength. Lyrically it feels like a song of parting somewhere comfortable: “We’re gonna miss this place/We’re gonna miss this place.” It’s a strong close to the album and is sure to make many graduation/leaving home playlists with lines like “Do what you do and do it all the way/Go where you go, it’s gonna be okay.”

While Forever Today shows off its high points through syrupy pop, the album falls short where it should shine.

The upbeat infectious pop songs have gone missing and are replaced by monotonous synthesizers, handclaps and chanted choruses. The opener “Charlie Parker” is a perfect example of this with vocals that leave room for potential and a chorus that is absolutely tiresome. The song’s lyrics are dull and leaver the listener without meaning, “When the sky is a little too filled up with rain/You can get on your little wings and fly away.”

“Charlie Parker” isn’t the only song like this, there are a whole slew of them. “Get in Line” features more handclaps and “Battleships” has rallying backing voices repeating “bah bah bah.”

What’s disappointing is with 29 band members, Forever Today could have been a great pop album. It feels like it’s missing a spark or some passion. There’s nothing complex about the lyrics and some of the instruments are too jarring to be used so frequently. I’m From Barcelona may have returned to their pop format but they tried a little to hard to do so.

I’m From Barcelona – Forever Today Tracklist:

  1. “Charlie Parker”
  2. “Get In Line”
  3. “Battleships”
  4. “Always Spring”
  5. “Can See Miles”
  6. “Come On”
  7. “Skipping A Beat”
  8. “Dr. Landy”
  9. “Game Is On”
  10. “Forever Today”