Flyinshoes Review

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www.adam-klein.com

Imagine a collection of songs with strong pop hooks that have their roots - in equal measure - in The Beatles, Whiskeytown and Son Volt and you'll have some idea of what this really classy set from Georgia's Adam Klein sounds like. OK, it's difficult, I know, but it's all there on this album; there's plenty of country colouring in the instrumentation but there's also an unmistakeable jaunty, self-confident pop air incredibly reminiscent of mid-60s Beatles. A large proportion of the songs are so cheerfully uplifting that I can imagine them on the soundtrack of one of those bittersweet comedies where things pan out alright in the end.

 

     Many of the lyrics seem to deal with unrequited love or relationships where we can't be sure yet that things really will work out fine and this material suits Adam's light, yearning voice nicely. He sounds sweet-natured and straightforward, so that when he sings about how much he loves his home in "sweet ol' Georgia" you just know that he's utterly sincere. My favourite track, in fact, is the album opener, 'Driftin' '( another contender for a film soundtrack) which celebrates the joys of being in love with a girl and with life in the "lazy southern summertime". It captures beautifully the notion of having a song in your heart, has a great warm bath of an arrangement and sets the mood perfectly for the album as a whole.

 

      There's something nicely old fashioned about a lot of this album which I can't quite pin down; maybe it seems that Adam's world is young and new and full of optimism, even when he's a little heartbroken. Occasionally there's just a hint of  Gram Parsons in Adam's vocals and maybe Gram had those qualities, too.  The production is wonderful: enormous care has gone into realising each of these songs. A J Adams is the man responsible and he also played a whole lot of guitar, bass and, most importantly, pedal steel. Me, I'm nearly always a sucker for pedal steel  and there's some really good playing, especially on the slightly oddball Of  Pirates And Vagabonds, a whimsical tale of piracy and tragic love; here, the pedal steel builds an atmosphere of melodramatic bleakness - more like Richmond Fontaine than Son Volt, I would say and quite marvelous. All in all, Wounded Electric Youth is music of warmth and character, a gentle treat for ravaged souls.

John Davy

 

 

Flyinshoes Review Cover Playlist

 

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Year 2016

1
Levi Parham
90 pts.
These American Blues
Music Road Records
GC,JBO,TK
2
Martha Fields
86 pts.
Southern White Lies
Independent
BP,BH,FB,JAB,RW,SP
3
Carter Sampson
75 pts.
Wilder Side
Independent/CRS
AN,CRS,JB
4
Anna Elizabeth Laube
65 pts.
Tree
Ahh...Pockets! Records
DH,NC
5
Michael McDermott
60 pts.
Willow Springs
Pauper Sky Records
BK,MM
6
Shovels & Rope
54 pts.
Little Seeds
New West
 
7
Robert Ellis
53 pts.
Robert Ellis
New West Records
DHO
8
Sturgill Simpson
52 pts.
A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
Atlantic Records
JJ,JF
9
Douglas Greer
50 pts.
Baja Louisiana
Zilker Park Records
HDB,ML
10
Lucinda Williams
46 pts.
The Ghosts Of Highway 20
Highway 20 Records
EM
11
Buddy Miller & Friends
44 pts.
Cayamo Sessions at Sea
New West Records
 
12
Wink Burcham
43 pts.
Cleveland Summer Nights
Continental Song City
 
13
Eric Brace & Peter Cooper
42 pts.
C&O Canal
Red Beet Records
BR
14
Brent Cobb
41 pts.
Shine On A Rainy Day
Elektra Records
HH
 
Daniel Romano
41 pts.
Mosey
New West
CVL
 
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41 pts.
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Sony Music
HO
17
Christian Kjellvander
40 pts.
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Tapete Records
BM
18
Drive-By Truckers
39 pts.
American Band
ATO Records
AR,EZ
19
Birds of Chicago
38 pts.
Real Midnight
Five Head Entertainment
LM,SZ
20
John Prine
37 pts.
For Better, or Worse
Oh Boy Records
FS,MB
21
The Cactus Blossoms
36 pts.
You’re Dreaming
Red House Records
GS,HD
22
Richmond Fontaine
35 pts.
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Décor Records
FCE
23
Gillian Welch
34 pts.
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LK,PR,TJ
24
Sarah Jarosz
33 pts.
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RM
25
Joe Purdy
32 pts.
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AL
 
The Devil Makes Three
32 pts.
Redemption & Ruin
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