Album Review: Underworld - Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future

9 March 2016 | 4:53 pm | Mac McNaughton

"Barbara is anything but an upper."

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With some of his last loving words to his wife, Rick Smith's father bestowed Underworld's seventh album with its title, leading to expectations for a more personal journey than the sometimes rambling, euphoric trips Smith and Karl Hyde have previously taken.

But Barbara is anything but an upper. I Exhale growls and grinds like The Fall on anabolic steroids and If Rah rides a Bruce Lee buzz via LCD Soundsystems' self-conscious Losing My Edge. Motorhome and Ova Nova float off in the middle but Nylon Strung's closing optimism seems forced. Barbara ends up fading away leaving concerns about Underworld's own future.