Barry Adamson : I Will Set You Free
When Howard Devoto decided to pick up the dog-eared pages of Magazine a few years ago, Barry Adamson was there to help recreate the classic Magazine sound. Adamson’s subsequent departure was lamented by fans, but did have the positive outcome of allowing Adamson to continue exploring his own über-cool solo activities.
Adamson is, to quote the psychotic Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet, one suave fuck. As soon as Adamson slides into action on Get Your Mind Right, the opening track from his latest album I Will Set You Free, everything is slick and sexy. Black Holes In My Brain is sweet funk on a razor-sharp stick, and when the heavens break on The Trigger City Blues, Adamson takes us down the darkened streets of rock-noir to a world only the very talented understand.
That all said, Adamson has his stumbling moments – Turnaround suffers from a nasty dose of '80s-itis, labouring through the vacuous corridors of post-new wave production before finding the door back into the Graney-esque attitude of The Power of Suggestion and the soft-top speed rock of Destination. Looking To Love Somebody is as mushy as a bowl of over-cooked peas; I Will Set You Free, in contrast, packs the sartorial splendour and seductive attitude of a would-be Casanova. If I Love Her reverts to Adamson in romantic mode; Stand In channels Bowie before indulgent hubris overtook talent. The only bad thing you can really say about Barry Adamson is that he shows the rest of us up for the flat-footed bogans we are.
BY IAN GOULD
Best Track: Black Holes In My Brain
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In A Word: Suave