We Are Scientists
"Barbara"

(Masterswan/Megaforce via Sony/Red Distribution 2010)We Are Scientists - Barbara

By the time a band gets to their fourth album, things are usually pretty solid. All of those initial nerves and follow-up anxieties are out of the way. For We Are Scientists, things aren't quite so simple or solid. WAS' main duo of Keith Murray and Chris Cain have brought a new drummer into the fold: Andy Burrows, formerly of Razorlight. But while it could be easy to blame the new guy, the problems with "Barbara" are not percussion or rhythm based.

The sentimental ballad "Pittsburgh" has a heavy-handed sparkle while "Rules Don't Stop" and "I Don't Bite" incorporate everybody's favorite indie dance drum rhythms (the high-hat sure is seeing a lot of action these days) of the past five years for upbeat and catchy but unimaginative tracks. But for smooth, purely melodic indie pop "Ambition" lives up to its name with a bit of irony, intended or not, when they sing "I have got the suspicion that I have been here before." I can't say I disagree with them.

We Are Scientists' new album has a lot in common with its title. Much like the somewhat old fashioned and uninteresting name they chose for their album, "Barbara" (the album) is nice enough but you've heard it all before. Sure, there are catchy moments here and there amidst the perky electro-tinged pop that, at times, seems a throw back to early ‘90s indie rock. "Barbara" is a perfectly sweet girl and one that you'd take home to Mother but not one you'll have a lot of fun with.

C+

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