"Sometimes there's a song in my brain/
And I feel that my heart knows the refrain/
I guess it's just the music that brings on nostalgia
For an age yet to come" - Pete Shelley (Nostalgia - Buzzcocks)
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Wednesday, 23 January 2013
Adam Ant New Album 2013
'Adam Ant Is The Blueblack Hussar In Marrying The Gunner's Daughter'. (Jan 21st 2013)
First new album from the Ant man since 'Wonderful' in 1995.
Cool Zombie Video. Adam Ant has been creeping back into the public conciousness the past couple of years laying waste to audiences in many different venues. After a meltdown in 2010 people wondered if Ant would ever be fit enough resume his musical career but in 2011 he proved all the critics wrong when he launched out on a major UK tour selling out venues up and down the land. Backing him was the band 'The Good The Mad and The Lovely'. Many of those shows drew upon the great wealth of material from the early days of Adam and the Ants and his solo career. A band though can only survive so long on the days of old, there had to be new material and so what has been more than two years in the making is finally out. A 17 track album loaded with brand new tunes! So, what is like? Here's what some of the critics have said so far:
"What this album isn't is an attempt to recapture Ant's glory days:
there's no Burundi double-drumming and no spaghetti-western guitar. The
Ant album it reminds me of the most, in fact, is Dirk Wears White Sox:
there's the same mid-fi production, and the same mix of perversion ...
It's sprawling, overdue and not for everyone, but at least it's not a
play-it-safe comeback with the hot producer of the day. And for that,
the Hussar should be saluted." (Simon Price - The Independent) "full of spit and vinaigrette. His ninth record is ramshackle and
there’s a lot of it, but it’s always entertaining... everything is
lively and bright-eyed, despite the demo-ish production." (David Quantick - Q Magazine) "At 68 minutes, it’s a sprawling mess, a stream of consciousness featuring tributes to Malcolm McLaren, Vivienne Westwood
and rocker Vince Taylor, and the percussive thrill of Antmusic on
Bullshit. Elsewhere, there are digs at Britain’s mental health system on
Shrink, self-appointed hardmen and the music industry that spat him
out. A diligent editor and better production would have meant a wayward
masterpiece, but this is an absorbing, troubling, sometimes brilliant
album." (John Aizelwood - London Evening Standard) "In the early 1980s Adam Ant was the best pop star on the planet ...
Some of that genius is in evidence on this comeback of sorts, but it
comes as damaged goods, with a sense of frantic chaos rather than
contained energy ... The problem is that all kind of good musical and
lyrical themes come across as thrown together, rather than making
coherent sense ... Still, there are some gems buried among the
cartoonish, throwaway moments ... It’s a scrappy, unfocused album, and
too long at 17 tracks, but it does reveal the life force beating away
inside a fascinating, original, troubled man." (Will Hodgkinson - The Times) "(This is) an album that gives the middle finger to brevity ... really
long name and record, painfully so at times. There are flashes of the
old brilliance on 'Shrink' but preceding number 'Hardmenhardblokes'
(sic) is as baffling as it is weird ... experimentalism meanders into
the bizarre and unlistenable. That said, it's sort of heartening to have
him back." (Jeremy Allen - NME)
Here's what I say: There's points in all of their reviews that I agree with and disagree with. The first one is that it is a bit too long and a few songs could easily have been culled. I also agree that it is in places quite like 'Dirk Wears White Sox' and nothing like the overly produced CBS output in the 1980's (though he could do with Marco Pirroni being at his side again as writing partner). It's not a play-safe album that's for sure and is quite uncomfortable to listen to at various moments and down right awful, but there are also moments of greatness which you will clearly hear when you get the album.
Let's just say there is enough on the album to warm the hearts of long term fans of Adam Ant but not really enough to appeal to a wider audience. Notice that I've not really mentioned any specific songs, and that's because I want you to form your own opinion and not take on board mine. If I was asked to give marks out of ten for the album I would probably say a rather generous 6.