Flyinshoes Review

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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



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November 2017

JW Roy & The Royal Family
80 pts.
A Room Full Of Strangers
Royal Family Records
Chris Hillman
79 pts.
Bidin' My Time
Turnpike Troubadours
46 pts.
Long Away From Your Heart
Bossier City Records
Jolie Holland & Samantha Parton
36 pts.
Wildflower Blues
Cinquefoil Records
Eilen Jewell
34 pts.
Down Hearted Blues
Signature Sounds
Lucinda Williams
31 pts.
This Sweet Old World
Highway 20/Thirty Tigers
JD McPherson
29 pts.
Undivided Heart & Soul
New West
Mark Martyre
26 pts.
Tom Russell
26 pts.
Folk Hotel
Frontera Records-Proper Records
Anna Tivel
25 pts.
Small Believer
Fluff And Gravy Records
Margo Price
25 pts.
All American Made
Third Man Records
Fred Wickham
22 pts.
Mariosa Delta
Thirty Days Records
Joe Henry
22 pts.
Ear Music
Whitney Rose
22 pts.
Rule 62
Six Shooter/Thirty Tigers
Dick LeMasters
18 pts.
Incompatible Things
Longneck Road Music
Jim White
18 pts.
Waffles, Triangles & Jesus
Loose Music
Peter Gallway
18 pts.
Feels Like Religion
Gallway Bay Music
Thomm Jutz
17 pts.
Crazy If You Let It
Mountain Fever Records
Kris Delmhorst
16 pts.
The Wild
Blue Blade Records
Daniel Crabtree
15 pts.
In The Shadow Of His Wings
Jeremy Pinnell
15 pts.
Ties Of Blood And Affection
Sofaburn Records
Julien Baker
15 pts.
Turn Out The Lights
Amber Cross
14 pts.
Savage on the Downhill
Chris Blevins
14 pts.
Better than Alone
Horton Records
David Rawlings
14 pts.
Poor David's Almanack
Acony Records
Grainne Duffy
14 pts.
Where I Belong
Jeff Crosby
14 pts.
Postcards From Magdalena
At The Helm Records

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