Denise Barbarita
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Denise Barbarita


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""Chaos & Congeniality" review"

Home: New York City

Style: Pop Rock

Quote: "There’s a feline quality about Denise Barbarita’s music, something wonderfully animalistic in the best sense of the word."

By Kevan Breitinger

There’s a feline quality about Denise Barbarita’s music, something wonderfully animalistic in the best sense of the word. First track “In Pieces” caught my attention immediately with its throbbing opening and vocal acrobatics. The sizzling “Happy Happy” brings to mind a cat stretching in the sun, regal and focused. But rocker “Hush Hush” is downright feral, Barbarita growling accusations backed by a solid rhythm section, guitars burning up the atmosphere until you finally notice you’ve been holding your breath. Now I’m sure you think I’m taking this cat thing too far, and I’m more than willing to drop it, but what am I to do about the beautifully languorous phrasing of “Fractured”? I dunno, I see a jumpsuit in her fabulous future.

It only gets better. The quiet blues-tinged tale that is “Only Blue” is near perfect, other than the ever so slightly muddy enunciation. Standout track has to be the dreamy “Hold On,” a celebration of strings, rapturous and transcendent. Closing songs “The Last Breakdown” and “No More Words” are winners for sheer boldness as well as perfect execution.

“Breakdown” is the first time I’ve heard a woman enter into Pink Floyd territory, and I couldn’t be more proud. Experimental, wild, and dare I say it, animalistic. You feel this song as much as you hear it. Repeated refrain: “I am strong enough”; what’s not to like? Final track is another great adventure, with its mid-eastern percussive feel and chant-like vocals. I dunno, until now I was always a dog person. If anybody could change my mind, it’s Denise Barbarita.

""Chaos & Congeniality" review"

Denise Barbarita – “Chaos and Congeniality” – Denise Barbarita has a tough act to follow…her own. Her debut album, “Beauty Lied” gained popularity and momentum with features on daytime television, benefit concerts and a national tour. Stretching out her talents for an encore, “Chaos and Congeniality”, Denise’s sophomore release, will no doubt be as successful as the debut of her career. This release is startlingly raw with complex lyrics that are a bit more energetic and genuine than the first. The opening song, “In Pieces” draws metaphorical images of the chaos of real life, while musically challenging the artistic borders. The CD completes the mood, full of sophisticated musings on love, life, heartache, and the contradictions of a sensitive mind. Denise Barbarita is a superior rock chick, one who can take a stage and the audience will immediately shut up. She’s a badass, lit match that’s taking the Indie music industry at full storm and won’t stop ‘til she’s unplugged. Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself! You can listen to Denise Barbarita’s “In Pieces” on Denise is my monthly editor’s pick for July. Congratulations Denise! Rock on, girl!

CHT Pick: "In Pieces" Reviewed by Heather Corcoran
Artist website:
-, Heather Corcoran

"Denise Barbarita @ Meow Mix"

Earlier in the night, I bumped into Denise. She was all sparkles and full of warm smiles, as she greeted the crowds. I introduced myself and she handed me a flyer. I asked her, "How do you do describe your music?". She replied with a smile "We're a mix of Kate Bush, Led Zeppelin and King's X!".

"err...ok? But who's King's X? And what is your sound exactly?" I quizzed.

"You'll just have to wait and see." she replied beaming a broad smile.

And you know what? It was worth the wait. Denise did not disappoint. She played her album for Meow Mix, and it was a full display of Denise Barbarita's capabilities; her voice and her band's music, everything was spot on.
When she first started to sing, Denise's voice did have an uncanny resemblance to Kate Bush! Her band delivered appropriate and timely riffs and beats. They were vibrant to hear and see. Kate (I mean Denise!) is also musically talented. She played acoustic guitar for the first few songs, and then for the remainder she stood a guitar like a cello and struck the cords with a bow. The sounds were distorted, but mind blowing and I have never heard such good distortion. Has anyone seen this setup before? But that wasn't the only trick up Denise's sleeve. Denise then introduced Luther Vandross, I mean Frank Carter! Man there were so many stars that night, I got confused. Frank was the icing on Denise Barbarita's cake. It sounded so good, that it was disappointing Frank did not have more songs to sing. He has a lot of voice to give, and I'm sure we will see him emerge as a star on the circuit pretty soon. I was surprised at how many shots I took, well over a roll of film, and that was because the mood of the performance was spot on. I was diggin it and wanted to capture the moment. I am usually done by 20 shots. But this groovy rock music just made you want to stay and listen and appreciate Denise's voice. The set was long too, but Denise captivated the audience with her witty sense of humour and diverse range of songs; the crowds had no idea what to expect from the band! Denise Barbarita is enjoyable to watch and listen. Do buy Denise's album and you will not be disappointed, her voice can sound like Kate Bush, whilst her music and her backing vocal Frank bring diversity and rhythm to her rock music which gives it that unique sound. And like she said Denise Barbarita is a mix of three bands, I know she blends them well.

posted Saturday, 17 January 2004 -

"album review, "Beauty Lied""

a Review by Anna Maria Stjärnell

Denise Barbarita has a magical voice. She also writes unique songs, which becomes apparent on her debut album.

"The Darkest Hour" is a sensuous song. Its gentle sway allows Barbarita's vocals to take center stage.

"In July" has a catchy melody and a brilliant guitar line. Barbarita injects a sense of urgency with her stunning singing.

"Only for My Sake" is a proud and soulful song.

"On Your Side" is a hushed, delicate song.

"Beauty lied" is a fabulous debut. - Collected Sounds

"Album review,"

Denise Barbarita

Well known studio engineer Denise Barbarita, throws her hat into the ring with the release of her debut independent effort, Beauty Lied .
This album runs a pretty big gamut of styles and while I like that idea, it's almost too much here. It hits singer/songwriter, rock, alternative, hard rock, and even some darker acoustic moments. While Barbarita is able to pull of various styles acceptably, not all of them suit her so voice so well. The vocals can really distract me when listening to a record and there are a couple songs here (most notably The Darkest Hour and He Said She Said ) that really don't suit Denise as a singer. On the other hand, she sounds wonderful on songs like It's What You Said, In July, and A Warm Place . Musically this is, of course, top notch. I have come to expect this from female singer/songwriters in recent years and most of the time I am not disappointed. Combine that with Denise's vocation and you really couldn't have a poorly produced album! It's usually the voice that makes or breaks it for me and Denise's voice generally "makes it" for me. I'd say this would be an exceptional EP. This is definitely worth checking out, Denise has much more versatility than a lot of artists that get categorized as singer/songwriter. You can find out more at

Key Song: In July

Mark Fisher -

"Cd review, "Beauty Lied""

CD: "Beauty Lied"

At the opposite end of the spectrum lies Denise Barbarita's lavishly (self-) produced Beauty Lied, a fine set of energetic and sophisticated pop-rock that takes on numerous styles and kicks all of their asses.

"It's What You Said," the opening track, starts out with a wash of sound effects which gives way to a mid-tempo acoustic guitar thump. The narrator makes a powerful declaration of independence via a catchy gutpunch of a chorus. This leads into "The Darkest Hour," a song about vulnerability unexpectedly energized by an off-rhythmic nod to Zeppelin's "Kashmir." The garage-y and danceable "In July" and "15" show Barbarita's lighter side, while "On Your Side" - where she sounds uncannily like Tori Amos - is as pretty a ballad as you are likely to find anywhere.

"He Said She Said" approaches the grungy intensity of Alice in Chains or Live, sharpened and shined - but not in any way diluted - by a feminine sensibility. Also noteworthy is the final track, the gospel-tinged "What I Believe," which, though it may not quite attain the anthemic status it reaches for, has an impressive amount of soul.

When, as an ignorant teen, I first heard Led Zeppelin, I thought they must have two different lead singers, one doing the verses in a normal tenor voice and another singing the super-high parts and the screaming. I also found it hard to believe that David Bowie the baritone of "Heroes" was the same person as David Bowie the nasal whiner of "Ziggy Stardust." (Thankfully, I know a little more about singing now than I did then.) Denise Barbarita doesn't present multiple vocal personalities to that extent, but one has the feeling that she could if she wanted to. To her credit, she uses her trained, powerful voice, precise control, and creativity as a producer to show her songs to their best advantage, not to overwhelm them or show off. As singer, songwriter, and sound artist/producer, Denise Barbarita is a classic triple threat. -

"Cd review"

Beauty Lied

A Review Of Denise Barbarita

Denise Barbarita has the talent to become a star as she beautifully sings—self-written, of course, to rock music. Barbarita, self-produced this independent album out of Kampo Studios, New York City. Her production can be a good pick with music lovers who listen to the likes of Enya, Jewel, or The Cranberries.

Barbarita’s youthful, enthused voice and lyrics brings awe to her music. She does have a band to speak of—this is her ‘backup.’ Barbarita plays acoustics and electric guitars, Jason Wallerstein on bass, Rich Kulsar on percussion, along with a whole host of additional members who do background vocals, ‘cool noises,’ guitars, and organs.

The music is soft enough to listen to in your own home while relaxing and brave enough to share with your friends. Her acoustic sound on “Only For My Sake” is about leaving a man for her own good and being strung out about it. “Only For My Sake” pairs a gospel touch with a light rock tune bringing the honesty and complexion of relationships to reality. This is a great song for women trying to take control of their love relationships.

You can reach Barbarita for comment, fan mail, album purchase and more at

By Aaris A. Schroeder
2003-02-11 - undergroundbeat



Posted on Tuesday, October 08 @ 06:20:51 EST

Artist: Denise Barbarita

CD: Beauty Lied (W.O.C.Records)

Home: New York City

Style: Rock

Quote: "That voice could take the lead in any rock opera".

By Jennifer Layton

Boston’s Berklee College of Music must be some place. I’ve
reviewed many artists over the past three years who list that
school on their resume, and I’m amazed at the variety of music
and level of talent among their graduates. I’ve never even been
there, but I’m ready to volunteer as a spokesperson.

The latest Berklee grad from my stack of submissions is
Denise Barbarita, and all I can say is that her roommates must
have had to move permanently into the library to get any
studying done. When Barbarita gets angry about something, she
cranks up that amp and plunges into some intense, powerful, and vibrantly
alive rock music. And that voice could take the lead in any rock opera.

The opening track is a perfect example. It begins with acoustic
strumming while a nightmarish electronic howl rises. That howl goes
on to occasionally twist its way into the anger of the song. “You feed
on insecurities, a vampire to my senses.... it’s so easy
to be Mr. Zero Responsibility, always my fault,” she accuses,
portraying a girl who’s finally wised up. She also wades through
the mess of a failed relationship in “He Said She Said” and
throws in some punk flavor in the aggressive “15.”

But Barbarita doesn’t just vent. She creates an echoed,
mysterious atmosphere in “The Darkest Hour” and a fragile
heart breaking in “On Your Side.” In the latter, she even sounds
like she’s fighting back tears. I sat still as she sang, waiting for her
to break. It’s a very powerful moment in the CD. So is the folk eulogy
“A Warm Place” in which she uses a final farewell to reaffirm her faith
in what lies beyond this world.
Through all these songs, we get great lyrics. From “In July”:
“God save me from this mess, your Magdalene needs some rest,”
and “I’m caught up in a web of no sleep preserved by additives
and caffeine.” I also like the maturity-revealing truth of the title track:
“Beauty passed me in her search of trying to find the perfect host....
She is hiding, a choice between a life of ease or living with no guarantees.”

Beauty Lied is a powerful collection of songs that gives Barbarita
the right to muscle her way into the line and stand proudly with her
alma mater. God help anyone who gets in her way.
- Jennifer Layton

"Maine Daily Ledger: Indie roundup"

For those who like a little rock in their indie music, check out Denise Barbarita's "Beauty Lied". A combination of pop-angst, rock and folk, Barbarita is more than just a combination of her influences, which range from courtney Love to Sarah McLaughlin. Barbarita is able to vary her styles on "Beauty Lied" from grunge garage rock to a contemporary singer-songwriter styles, and a lot inbetween.
Songs of note include: "The Darkest Hour" and "He Said She Said", whose sound is reminiscent of Choir Girl-era Tori Amos, and the 80's Go-Go's-esque pop stylings on "In July" and "15".
One of the great things about some-not all- independent artists, like Barbarita, is they are not araid to stretch out into different mainstream pop styles. - John Swinconeck

"The Spotlight"

"Her performance was upbeat, energetic and crowd friendly.
From the moment she set foot on stage, she made a connection
with her audience & she held that connection right up to the
final note of her set. Denise is an intelligent songwriter with a powerful
voice and a solid wealth of material to back it up."
-Paul Autry-Senior Editor, The Spotlight /Reviewer-Ballbuster Magazine
- Paul Autry


•Denise Barbarita, "Alive & B-Sides" (2007)

•Denise Barbarita, "Chaos and Congeniality"-LP, 2005

•Denise Barbarita,"Beauty Lied"-LP, 2002


•Tracking/Mix Engineer/Background Vocals/Bowed guitar/electric guitar: Celia, "Transformateurs"(2009)
•Bowed Guitar/Background vocals/Mix engineer: Alyson Greenfield, "Tuscaloosa" (2008)
•Producer/engineer/mixer/Bowed guitar: Kristi Martel's "Bound" single (2003), "Brave Enough" LP (2001) & "The Mule" (2004)
•Producer/Engineer/Mixer/Bowed guitar/background vocals: Halley Devestern's LP "Superhero Killer"(2003)
•Co-producer/Engineer/Mixer/bowed guitar and oscillator music: JenEd: "Exposed" (2004)




With 3 albums under her belt, Beauty Lied” (2002) “Chaos & Congeniality” (2005), & “Alive & B-Sides” (2007), “Avante-Rock” songstress, Denise Barbarita is in production for her 4th album, "A Beautiful Mess", due for international release in the Summer of 2009.

The new album features her new band line-up, The Morning Papers, as well as a few prominent guest musicians, and co-writers.

Denise's primary goal is to license her music for Film/TV.
In 2008, Denise was delighted to find her song entitled, "No More Words" was used in the opening of a film for the Nissan Outdoor games 2008.
Over 10 of Denise’s songs are featured regularly on the daytime TV dramas, "One Life to Live" and "The Young & The Restless". The single from "Chaos & Congeniality", entitled "Hush Hush" was featured on the ABC prime time TV series, "Traveler". It was also featured as the opening theme for the independent film, "How to Grow an Olive Tree".
She is also happy to compose "on demand" for any project.

Since 2003, Denise has toured across the US, and continues to do so in support of her new release, wowing audiences with her live shows.

When not on the road, Denise works hard as a producer/engineer to help other independent & major label artists realize their dreams of making great albums at the world class facility, Kampo Studios in NYC.
As a recording engineer, Denise has worked with a long list of top selling and independent artists alike; Some credits include Grammy nominated artists such as Angie Stone, Karrin Allyson, Herbie Hancock, David Byrne, Mary J. Blige, Bruce Cockburn, and The Roots. Independents include, singer/songwriters, Brenda Kahn, Kristi Martel, Celia Shacklett, Allison Tartalia, Alyson Greenfield, Halley Devestern, and guitarist, Michael Hewett.

For more information, please visit Denise’s Website:

Points of Interest:

Currently in 2009, Denise is finishing the recording of her next studio album, "A Beautiful Mess".

Denise's songs are featured on over 40 college and independent stations nationwide, including 89.5 WSOU(Seton Hall U, NJ), Univ of Hi, KTUH, and the nationally syndicated Laney Goodman's "Women in Music" program.

Denise has been featured in national magazines such as "Billboard", "Women Who Rock", and "Ballbuster".

Denise's CDs can be purchased online from and
Songs can also be downloaded individually at iTunes and
In 2009 Denise plans to have digital downloading available artist direct from her site, in many different formats.