B*Witched were ridiculously popular during the late 90's and became one of the best selling bands in Ireland. At the time of the releases of their self-titled debut album and Awake and Breathe, girl groups and boybands were a trend. The trend became too big for it's own good and has fallen but many have attempted to bring it back.
After a sudden drop from their label and disappearance from the spotlight, B*Witched eventually dissolved but twins, Keavy and Edele Lynch worked as songwriter's for a bit and then returned as a duo called Ms Lynch where they uploaded material on myspace. They've changed their name again to Barbarellas and have officially returned with their new album: Nightmode which was released in April 2011. Instead of the sweet bubblegum pop with the celtic influences in B*Witched that were suitable for all ages in Nightmode we get icy electropop with weak production.
It's full of sexual innuendos and contains the cheeky lyrics that they got away with in C'est La Vie, but this time I don't think they really work. I think it's natural that they electronic style is being compared to Lady Gaga, I can see the influence from Lady Gaga's music, especially from The Fame era where it was all disco lights and bold wigs. I don't think it sounds that Gaga-ish because I think the overall sound of the album is a lot less melodic and more cold.
I didn't feel the album even though I really liked Body Rock and Kiss From A Ghost. Faith In Me can also be considered one of the better tracks on the album because it has a lot of substance but the instrumental and vocals are sweet, but would be better apart because I don't think the high pitched synths, slow vocals on top of high pitched vocals went well together. It's nice that the album has a ballad, but it feels all round out-of-sync.
Body Rock is the lead single for the album, it really reminds me of Christina Aguilera's Not Myself Tonight. It's trashy and the tunes are questionable which makes me feel that I shouldn't really like the song; but I do. It's one of the few songs on Night mode that has substance. I like the dark tone though the gimmicky image could have been handled a lot more better.
The title track stinks! Night Mode farts out a lot of auto tune and it's just gross. I loved the demo to this when at the time it was called Diet Coke. I liked the guitar riff and the disco tinge because it helped make the song feel edgy and fun. The overproduction on the final album version destroyed it.
From my point of view, it's tragic that the rest of the tracks on the album such as Big, Play Dirty, The Idea, Turn Me On, Tip It and Smokin' aren't as fun as they could be. I believe that's because the album is very repetitive and the tempo remains the same throughout the album. This kind of music should make me want to dance. Instead, it makes me want to fall asleep.
I feel sad for Kiss From A Ghost as it's the only great song on the album. It does show off their vocals well and show their B*Witched roots where the music was mysterious and oddly powerful. I think the musical arrangements a bit quirky although they are similar to the one in Faith In Me. I think the instrumentals badly overpower the vocals which did hinder my enjoyment, but I still think it's an adorable track which will be overlooked because the album is dire.
I really wanted to get into this album. Unfortunately I felt the talent has been clouded from view because of the generic lyrics and bad use of auto-tune. To be honest Night Mode isn't really that bad. I just don't like it because it doesn't have the harmony that B*Witched had and I don't find any of the songs catchy. For the sexual modern sound they where trying to create it feels rather bland and dissatisfying. The demos for the songs have been on Youtube since 2007 and I can't really see the years of effort on the album.
Sorry Barbarellas, you're talented but I didn't enjoy it, therefore I can't recommend this album.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Body Rock
2 Night Mode
4 Play Dirty
5 Could You Ever
6 Faith In Me
7 The Idea
8 Turn Me On
9 Kiss From A Ghost
10 Tip It
11 Do To Me