Flyinshoes Review

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http://www.adam-klein.com/

It was 2013 and, out of nowhere it seemed, Adam Klein produced what became my favourite album of the year – Sky Blue De Ville. Deeply romantic, beautifully produced and boasting some great guitar work, it was an album to lose yourself in, a thread to follow from beginning to end and be glad that you were alive and sentient to appreciate it.

Well, 2015 comes along and the boy has done it again; Archer’s Arrow is a little shorter and maybe not quite so coherent in mood, but just as much of a gem as its predecessor. The two albums overlap in gestation, in fact, with the new album having been on the back burner for quite a while. The original tracks were recorded four years ago from a bunch of songs written over the course of a decade and it was only recently that Bronson Tew, producer and multi-instrumentalist, pulled the whole thing together to make something that belies its ad hoc origins to sound utterly compelling and immediate.

The obvious stand-out track is Burnin’ Love, an absolute monster of a song that vomits the emotions at the end of a love affair and then leaves the guitar to blaze those emotions even brighter and more furious. One of the great qualities of Sky Blue De Ville was a restraint that kept a tension running throughout; here that tension spills over the edge and the band’s inner rock gods come bursting through – gloriously! Most importantly, the trick achieved on the earlier album has been repeated here; the arrangements and the production make the most of Adam Klein’s singing, which forever has an air of pained yearning about it. A few lines in the middle of Burnin’ Love sum up the feel of the album for me:

“heading towards a once and future past that can’t be shaken/and the images are crashing in your brain/sometimes it’s beautiful/sometimes it’s hard and dark and pain”

This guy is familiar with the dark side of life and love and knows how to evoke it; ever fond of referring to his influences, on Archer’s Arrow he covers a Neil Young rarity, Bad Fog of Loneliness. Even if you don’t know that particular song, you can imagine from the title how it fits in here. Adam Klein has produced another collection that is an utter joy to give yourself over to and I’m hoping that his commitment to other ventures, including something of an acting career, won’t prevent him from crafting more gems like this.

John Davy

 

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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
 
Leonard Cohen
41 pts.
You Want it Darker
Sony Music
HO
17
Christian Kjellvander
40 pts.
A Village: Natural Light
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.
You Can’t Go Back
Décor Records
FCE
23
Gillian Welch
34 pts.
Boots No.1: The Official Revival Bootleg
Acony Records
LK,PR,TJ
24
Sarah Jarosz
33 pts.
Undercurrent
Sugar Hill
RM
25
Joe Purdy
32 pts.
Who Will Be Next?
Mudtown Crier Records
AL
 
The Devil Makes Three
32 pts.
Redemption & Ruin
New West

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