“In My Prison” is a mesmerizing record, it seduces you to listen again and again. The guitar playing is vintage stuff taken from the book of six strings with an electric soul. It is distinctive in its style, depth and clarity. Through the years Paul Barrere has shown his versatility on a range of guitars, and other instruments. These are all brought to bear on this track. Roger Cole on the other hand delivers the amazing keyboards, bass and drums. The singing too, is hypnotic and articulate. The lyrics are suggestive and compelling without being obvious. They allow you to draw meaning from your own experiences. Ladies and gentleman, once again Roger Cole and Paul Barrere prove themselves to be musicians of the highest order.
I became a Pink Floyd devotee in the 70s, as they had a sound that defied characterization. They accumulated all my musical needs into one perfectly classy package – rock, classic, folk, pop, and blues strains flooded their sound and filled my soul. However they are all but gone now, bar a couple of solo albums by some still active members.
So now, in a world of mediocrity and vulgarity, a simple American duo displays all the enormous talent, subtlety and class that Pink Floyd once fed me. I have listened to their music many times over but I’m sure, that like Floyd, I have only scratched the surface of Cole and Barrere’s musical rewards.
A little less pretentious, and a little more visceral than Floyd, Roger Cole and Paul Barrere deliver yet another musical and lyrical masterpiece with “In My Prison”. This time around, they use all the elements at their disposable, so over and above the melody and harmonics, there is plenty of distorted noises and dissonance to bring the nature of the song home – “In My Prison / Of indecision / How can my thoughts form? / The tower card will always show / No fortune teller here / No gypsies with their tarot cards / To quiet all your fears.”
I have promised myself to not say that this is their best song yet, as I have repeated that same phrase on their last four releases! However I will be bold enough to say that for atmospheric tension, arranging creativity and instrumental execution, “In My Prison” does not deserve to be released into this hollowed-out era of mechanized music.
Luckily these two intelligent fellas know that for the most part they are playing for the deaf, so they make music on their own terms, according to their own standards, and for their own pleasure. Hence, loaded with a bunch of hefty acoustic and electric instruments, they are able to tread the deepest of musical waters that most of today’s ‘musicians’ will drown in, with only a laptop in one hand and a copy of Fruity Loops in another.
Roger Cole and Paul Barrere bring many years of rock experience to the fore and craft a sound that is without flaw on “In My Prison”. The song is perfectly constructed and hauntingly beautiful, devoid of flash and gimmicks and chock full of rock wisdom. Secretly, I think they know that there are still connoisseurs and fanatics like you and me listening…