Friday 17 February 2012

Review: Barry Adamson

Barry Adamson – I Will Set You Free (Central Control)
Because we’re lazy, let’s split Barry Adamson’s career into three easy to organize parts: the Magazine years, the Bad Seed years and the solo years. See, piece of cake. Unfortunately, it’s not quite as straight forward as that, especially when it comes to his solo career, where he’s found a niche for himself recording movie soundtracks, though usually for films that exist purely in his own head, a flirtation with gothic-beat-noir of the “Jazz Devil” and his 2008 album, “Back To The Cat”, which marked an excursion into a genre that might best be described as garage-croon. If you’re after a more graphic image, imagine Nick Cave sneaking into Tony Christie’s boudoir and taking him roughly and repeatedly. Got that? The resulting offspring, gnarly yet somehow modish, would have sung the songs on “Back To The Cat”.

“I Will Set You Free” is more of the same, though he rarely settles on one sound or style. First track “Get Your Mind Right” is a Chris Farlowe-esque foot stomper with a feisty, grungy backing. He lets go with some big funk on “Black Holes In My Brain” and unleashes his soulful Hollywood croon on “Turnaround” and “If You Love Her”. Both his voice and his songwriting is on top form, and although I’ve no idea where these latest records fit into the Barry Adamson oeuvre, there’s no denying their wicked potency.
Simon M.

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