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BACK TO THE CAT *recommended *
:: Barry Adamson ::
14 April 2008 / No Label Required / 10 Trk CD

For people like myself, Barry Adamson is fondly remembered and respected for his role in Howard Devoto’s Magazine – just listen to his seminal bassline on “The Light Pours Out Of Me”. But since then Adamson has been a very much in demand contributor to film scores and of course was also a key member of Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds, making full appearances on their first three albums.

In parallel with this full blown career he’s also been writing and recording a wealthy catalogue of his own material. The latest album “Back To The Cat” really does try to live up to its name. It appears soft but with claws. Opening number “The Beaten Side Of Town” utilises jazzy skat sounds to accompany the astute lyrics and superbly produced mixture of guitar, effects, keys and jazz instruments. There’s certainly a sense of intrigue in Adamson’s work – whilst the whole thing may appear to be some sort of mainstream trip, “Back To The Cat” is far from that, as almost every skill, sense and experience has been poured into this record. And it shows. On “Shadow Of Death Hotel” the bass crawls and the drums provide a crucial oarsman’s beat, whilst a brassy ensemble mingle with the electronic ingredients to fuel the belly of this fiery mini-musical.

This is an album with soul, but where others have failed with cinematic, film score based hybrids of urban jazz, soul and contemporary rock, Adamson has moved the whole package to a new exciting environment, steeped in 60’s and 70’s melodies and a gnarled, knowing insight into modern music forms.


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