Barry Adamson – Back To The Cat

Barry Adamson – Back To The Cat / 2008 Central Control International / 10 Tracks / /

Individuals may not be able to immediately associate the name Barry Adamson with any acts. This is due to the fact that much of Adamson’s most known works were those that backed up charismatic lead singers, with Adamson spending time in acts like Visage, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and Pan Sonic in the past. “Back To The Cat” marks Adamson’s 9th album in 19 years, and continues building off of the styles and approaches that were first broached during 2006’s “Stranger on the Sofa”.

The first track on “Back To The Cat” is “The Beaten Side of Town”, and it slowly slinks into the vision of the listeners. The track draws heavily on early jazz to craft a web of cool, hip sound. It is true that there will be few outside of the NPR set that can truly appreciate what Adamson has on this introductory track, but “The Beaten Side of Town” is a strong opening for Adamson here. The second track on the album is “Straight ‘Til Sunrise”, The inclusion of atmospheric noises, such as police sirens, provides an urban sound to the track. Instead of sticking with a jazz-heavy sound for this track, there is an upswing to this track that puts Adamson in the role of a lounge singer more than anything. “Spend A Little Time” is the track that shines brightest during the earliest tracks on “Back To The Cat”.

This means that there is still the heavy jazz type of influence that was first touched upon during “The Beaten Side of Town”, but Adamson places in a swinging type of beat that will drive itself deep into the heads and hearts of anyone that is fortunate enough to listen in. Each of the tracks adds a little bit more to the overall sound of “Back To The Cat”. While there are a number of songs that could be conceived of as singles, the album-oriented nature of the songs makes a full appreciation of the album only possible when individuals sit down and digest each of the ten cuts. The reward that listeners get is large: Adamson has thrown so many different things into this album that listeners will likely miss some on their first few listens. Check Adamson’s latest out, if one wants to hear exactly how jazz can be used in the current period.

Top Tracks: People, Civilization

Rating: 6.8/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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