Thursday, June 22, 2006

Stranger On The Sofa

Barry Adamson has been active in the music biz for close to 30 years now. He began in the late '70s as bassist for Howard Devoto's Magazine. He did a stint in the New Romantic supergroup Visage. He then helped Nick Cave start up the Bad Seeds, and played bass with them until he began his solo career in 1988 with Moss Side Story. Mute Records was his label for about 14 years, and he released seven or eight albums of his unique blend of soul, rock, jazz, and noir spy themes. The initial albums were instrumental affairs, and then over the years he began to sing on some of the songs. This last year has seen him leave his longtime label Mute Records and start up his own label, Central Control International. First order of business? A new album called Stranger On The Sofa. It is a typical Barry Adamson record. There are a few dark instrumentals, some jazzy numbers and a few songs. The sound of this record is a bit of a departure from the last few in that it emphasizes the rockier side of Barry, and a few of the songs sound like some of the most commercial stuff he's ever done. I like it. You Sold Your Dreams is one of the poppier songs, and it's chorus reminds me a hell of a lot of Franz Ferdinand, which is kind of nutty. It's tough and rocking, with some killer slide guitar and piano vamping. Free Love is the album closer, and is a dubbed out bit of skank-tronica that might remind you of something Nightmares On Wax would do.

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