Jonathan Barnes | medication

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medication

by Jonathan Barnes

Concise, acoustic-based progressive folk rock from singer-songwriter Jonathan Barnes.
Genre: Rock: Folk Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Over The Line
2:39 $0.99
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2. Does It Matter
3:22 $0.99
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3. Medication
3:22 $0.99
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4. Anyway
1:16 $0.99
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5. Feel of Desperation
3:42 $0.99
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6. Right Here
5:02 $0.99
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7. Shackled
3:05 $0.99
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8. I Married You
3:25 $0.99
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9. Out of Line
3:05 $0.99
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10. And At The Very Least
3:34 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The album 'Medication' has been in the works since the ink was still drying on my 2003 release 'file under agrarian'. On FUA I felt like I had to get it all out -- all my influences, genres, and styles -- and I feel I accomplished that. FUA was a great introduction to all the kinds of music I love. I knew that the next project would be more focused, keeping the same soul.

So we come to Medication – I had moved to Nashville in 2003 and had recorded quite a bit of demos, written new songs and re-hashed old ones. In early 2006 I had some conversations with Will Sayles, a great guy and an incredible musician with a passion for creating, producing, and recording. He and I started going over different songs that I had in my collection of demos, and we decided on 10 that we thought were cohesive, focused, and had a lot of soul. I wanted the album to be as organic as possible, with more of a ‘capturing-the-moment’ feel rather than a stuffy studio impression. So we started tracking the first song, Feel of Desperation, with guitar, vocals, and piano. Everything fell into place, and as the song progressed, Will and I knew that what we were capturing was the beginning of the album that would be Medication.

We recorded at the Smoakstack in Nashville from March to August 2006, working around each other’s schedules, with an army of like-minded musicians walking in to do their part. Chris Carmichael lent his talents with string arrangements and performances on two tracks. Ben Shive, Ian Fitchuk, and Cason Cooley contributed on Keyboards. Tony Lucido and Park Chisolm held down the low end with their bass expertise. Faith Gilmore sang along with me on ‘Shackled’, and Brent Clifton harmonized with me on four other songs. Claire Indie played cello on 'Anyway'. Will and I played a little too.

In the end, I feel like this album is what I wanted it to be: an organic, soulful collection of music that I hope you will enjoy hearing as much as I did recording it.

Jonathan

Lyrics:
Over The Line

I jumped headfirst off a bridge into shallow water. I didn’t want to, but everybody thought I should be the first to speak out of turn when I knew that I shouldn’t, but I did, and look where it brought me: over the line of what is reasonable. I got struck with a bolt of electricity and I survived it. I can’t hide it though, my head seems to hurt a lot worse things have happened to people traveling out of the country. You know exactly what I’m talking about: over the line of what is reasonable. And I know I’ve done a lot of stupid things. And I know that maybe I’m just too scared to fight it. Over the line of what is reasonable.

Does It Matter

Bury your face in your hands on the corner of 16th and Grand. Somebody asked you seven years ago what you wanted, did you even know? Take this for what it’s worth, all that back and forth should caution you quickly and be understood. Recognize it, try not to be fooled. Was it worth it? Was it worth it at all? Did it matter? Did it matter at all? Welcome to the big time, welcome to the show you didn’t know about until they pushed you through the door. I can’t believe that I fell for all of those lies I was dealt. And if they ask me was it worth the tears? I wouldn’t answer all of those years. Was it worth it? Was it worth it at all? Did it matter? Did it matter at all? Is it worth it? Is it worth it at all? Does it matter? Does it matter at all?

Medication

Is it just the medication? Is it just the pills I’ve been taken? Is it this life I’m living that’s giving me these dreams I’ve been having? Vertigo got me spinning around on my carousel, on my carousel. Have I really been forsaken? Or is it just the medication? Do you have any words for me? I’d really like to hear what you see. Have I really been forsaken? Or is it just the medication? Digging in the trenches, giving me some time for my senses, breaking down my defenses, is it just the medication? Do you have any advice for me? I’d really like to hear what you see. Have I really been forgiven? Or is it just the medication?


Anyway

Anyway, I tried to say something but I got cut off from all of the thoughts and all that it cost at that precise moment in time, goes by, and I, don’t know why or how to say anyway, I tried to say something but I got cut off.

Feel of Desperation

Your clothes are wet, the money’s gone, you lost your bet, the deal went wrong, those tired eyes long to close, neon lights every place you go. The city sleeps, the river races, forgotten dreams, and all those places you used to be when you had a chance to break free and climb over the fence. Maybe it’s the circumstance, maybe it’s the charge, the feel of desperation, and your broken heart. Where do you run, where do you go when you’re broken down and on the floor? The only thing that you ever wanted is not to be what you’ve now become. Along for the ride is your guilty conscience, sneaking into every thought. The haze creeps in and you can’t see much, you miss your friends and your girlfriend’s touch. Maybe it’s the circumstance, maybe it’s the charge, the feel of desperation, and your broken heart wants to tell you again what it wants you to know. The hard part of living fast is taking it slow. Turning around, and looking up, you see the sun and it gives you hope. Breaks away all fears and doubts, confidence becomes you now. Those tired eyes’ wish comes true, every place you go light shining through, every place you go.

Right Here

I’ve been up, I’ve been down, and there’s no one around to see the love coming down from the heavens. Do you not know, have you not heard that the love you have is not your own? All my questions . . . You’re right here with me, right here. I drink, and I sing, I do most anything to get out of this life that I’m living. Do you not know, have you not heard that the life you have is not your own? All my exceptions . . . You’re right here with me, right here.

Shackled

Shackled by the moon, calling me too soon, and the day I left behind, left me blind. Well, I wish I’d tried to hide these feelings deep inside. I wish I’d known, I wish I’d known. Shackled by the moon, shackled by the moon. Stifled by the sun, makes me run to the places that I love away from the push and the shove. I wish I’d tried to hide these feelings deep inside. I wish I’d known, I wish I’d known. Stifled by the sun, stifled by the sun. Maybe I should leave. Maybe I should just get out. Stifled by the sun, shackled by the moon.

I Married You

Old man shoes, holy jeans. I married you, Christina Jean. Big surprise under a live oak tree. Webley gave us eyes when you said you’d married me. We were dancing in Birmingham, old wooden floors. Take me by the hand, let’s dance around some more. You got your Levis on Christmas Eve. When I see you smile, I just can’t believe. I just can’t believe it. European automobile on the way to Cassis. My joy I could not hope to conceal when we saw the Mediterranean Sea.

Out of Line

Standing in line at my favorite coffee shop, thinking about last night and why I didn’t stop to say goodbye. I was out of line. Across the room, there she stood, talking to some friends of hers, well I guess I just misunderstood the look in her eyes. I was out of line. The shortest length between two points is a straight line. I walked away, 180 degrees from you. Standing in line at my favorite record store, she was listening to some Gram Parsons, I’d seen her here before. I broke out of line.

And At the Very Least

And at the very least, you finally got some peace of mind. Last I checked, you weren’t blind, look for yourself it’s a blessing in disguise. And as the situation grew, you found you made it through the pain, another chance to live again, you live you life to its full extent. You didn’t know that it would be so good. In the midst of your pain you found your hope again. And as you came out of the dark, your friends played a bigger part of it all. Look in hindsight, see it all. Blessings come after a fall. You never knew that it would be so good. In the midst of your pain you found your hope again. Found your faith, found your hope, found your faith. And at the very end, you’ll around the bend of gold streets, last I checked you weren’t too old to see the Savior’s face.

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Reviews


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Aaron Dettling

Welcome to the City
In Medication, Nashville-based agrarian rocker Jonathan Barnes trades in his dusty chaps for a pair of Banana Republic tailored chinos—and the resulting second independent effort is anything but sophomoric.

Barnes’ first record, File Under Agrarian, showcased his songwriting gravitas and eclectic musicianship. In Medication, Barnes wraps the same poignant songwriting and gritty Les Paul guitar in rich production and an upscale musical package he created with the help of a cadre of Nashville musicians. And with no disrespect to Agrarian, it shows. Medication flows with effortless musical sophistication and subtlety that Agrarian lacked, but, to be fair, never really attempted. And sonically, Medication easily towers over its four-year-old brother.

With 10 memorable tracks suitable for full-throated in-car singalongs, the longest of which clocks in at five minutes, Medication is short but gratifying. The standout track, “I Married You,” reminds me why I used to like rock ‘n roll—Barnes and his band manage to channel Wilco’s Summer Teeth in a way that’s actually (brace yourself) fun to listen to. “Right Here” makes an encore appearance from Agrarian, but don’t fret: in its new, snappy casual clothes, it’s more engaging than ever.

Welcome to the big city, Jonathan—it suits you. Just straighten your tie.
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Allan Douglas

Clear-cut, great sounding folk/alt-country
After getting off to a solidstart with File Under Agrarian, Barnes has distilled the clearest & most important components of his sound & songwriting on Medication. The songs are well-written & arranged, and the recording is pristine with some fun mixing & guitar tone surprises. For fans of moody folk rock & alt-country.
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Cole Ballweg

This album may be the most accessible piece of Americana pop to never hit the ai
On his 2004 release File Under Agrarian Jonathan Barnes wore his influences on his sleeve, resulting in a record that left you wondering where this DIY artist from Nashville might land. The answer is Medication, the new self-released album that may be the most accessible piece of Americana pop to never hit the airwaves. On the song "Out of Line" Barnes opens with the lyric "standing in line at my favorite coffee shop," and it is not hard to imagine his album washing over the java-hipster patrons. But unlike other artists' incarnations that leave fans of this genre wondering if the songs are a not-so-veiled attempt to gain mainstream acceptance (see Ryan Adams' Gold), Medication feels honest. The standout track "I Married You" is a love note to his wife that combines Wilco-infused instrumentation with sugary sweet lyrics that other artists would never attempt for fear of losing their angst-cred. Other songs, like "Shackled" and "Feel of Desperation" have heavier themes, but still manage to find the infectious groove that is consistent throughout Medication. The most radio-ready of the bunch is the title track, which blends Barnes' Ben Folds-esque vocals with a catchy verse and dreamy chorus that show his ability to be experimental without overpowering the melody. Medication doesn't try too hard to please everyone, but it will come damn close.

cole.
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Bruce Denson

A full authentic album with a redemptive narrative quality
Ok I have spent the last three days imbibing Medication. And honestly I think it is incredible. I liked FUA and loved a few of the songs (Access Reader still being my favorite). But on the whole it feels more hodgepodge in places, an amalgamation of styles without a singular purpose. Not so for Medication. It is authentic, its own thing. Yes I can hear influences (particularly the I’m Always in Love guitar on You Married Me) - but with few exceptions they are just hovering on the surface.

The music is surprisingly redemptive - it arrives at resolution to what on most albums would simply be open ended questions. I also like the narrative quality of many of the songs lyrics and perhaps of the album as a whole. I think it adds considerable depth.

The sound is full (it seems extremely well produced). By full I mean that I like listening to it with the volume all the way up so I can hear all the things going on in the background (for instance there is a place in Over the Line where it arrives at the end of a verse and there is a huge Johnny Cashish piano chord, the first time and last time the piano is played in the songs - I love that and the louder it is the more delightful.

My favorite song is probably the tenth song - I love the strings and the arrangement - and Barnes' voice has considerably improved and it really shows in that song.

In short I love the record and recommend it strongly. It will certainly be in my top five albums released in the last year.
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