Barry Adamson

Back to the Cat | Central Control
By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  April 15, 2008
3.5 3.5 Stars
It’s easy to imagine this eighth solo outing from Barry Adamson (an ex-post-punker in Magazine, and a former Bad Seed to boot) as a problematic prospect for listeners new to his evocative style. Sure, it’s soul, soothingly familiar in just about every regard. But given that Adamson’s throaty croons and warbles often come off like some triangulation of Leonard Cohen, Isaac Hayes, and William Shatner, and given that his albums often feel like soundtracks to spy films that never existed, and given that he has no qualms about sex and, it seems, the getting thereof, this album could be a one-way trip to Discomfortville for prudish newbs unwilling to meet him halfway. When in “Spend a Little Time” we learn that the little time he’d like to spend is squarely “in your front garden,” you can be certain his mission involves losing your skirt. When he rattles off welcomes to “lowlifes and deadbeats, homos and heteros, Negroes and down-lows, freakers and tweakers” in “The Beaten Side of Down,” it’s the type of beatified beatnik babble that could seem terminally bogus and dated. But for all the cautions and caveats, Adamson’s mastery of memorable, expertly crafted songs is evident throughout — and if he doesn’t quite meet your needs, maybe you oughta consider meeting his.
Related: Nurse with Wound, Flashbacks: July 14, 2006, Thursday night live, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Barry Adamson, Barry Adamson, William Shatner
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