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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May 2018

John Prine
67 pts.
The Tree of Forgiveness
Oh Boy Records
Levi Parham
58 pts.
It's All Good
Continental Records
Jeb Barry and the Pawn Shop Saints
55 pts.
Texas, etc...
Michael McDermott
54 pts.
Out From Under
Continental Song City
Sam Morrow
48 pts.
Concrete and Mud
Forty Below Records
Caleb Caudle
39 pts.
Crushed Coins
Cornelius Chapel Records
Western Centuries
36 pts.
Songs From The Deluge
Free Dirt Records
Carter Sampson
34 pts.
Continental Song City
Charley Crockett
30 pts.
Lonesome as a Shadow
Son of Davy/30 Tigers
Courtney Marie Andrews
28 pts.
May Your Kindness Remain
Loose Music
Ed Romanoff
27 pts.
The Orphan King
Pinerock Records
Joan Baez
27 pts.
Whistle Down The Wind
Proper Records
Pharis and Jason Romero
27 pts.
Sweet Old Religion
Lula Records
Gretchen Peters
24 pts.
Dancing With The Beast
Proper Records
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Columbia Records
Will Stewart
24 pts.
County Seat
Cornelius Chapel Records
Ben Reel
22 pts.
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B REEL Records
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Love In Wartime
Signature Sounds
Emily Herring
22 pts.
Eight 30 Records
Jenny van West
21 pts.
Happiness To Burn
Mary Gauthier
21 pts.
Rifles And Rosary Beads
In the Black Records
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
20 pts.
Bloodshot Records
David Starr
19 pts.
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18 pts.
After You
Grant Peeples
17 pts.
Settling Scores vol. 2

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