Thursday, 26 April 2018

CD: 'Down To Reverie' by Robin Adams


Album Review of: 
(2010, Eye Dog Records EDE0003) 

“Midnight I” is a haunting psychedelic blur of ‘backwards uke’, like it’s something torn loose and adrift in time where ‘echoes of eternity go by/ they pass within the flicker of an eye’. Personally, I’d have liked some more of that sonic oddness. His sleeve-shot shows Glaswegian Robin dwarfed by the loom of his own huge shadow. Maybe that’s a clue. His MySpace influences assemble a line-up of the usual suspects, Kerouac, Dylan, Elvis, Robert Johnson, Ginsberg, Neil Young. And he sings with the effectively ragged nasal slur such a genealogy would suggest. “Down To The Water” has a melancholy bleakness emphasised by sparse unaccompanied phrases, with the elemental forces of fire and water used as metaphors for cleansing. In fact, he’s unafraid to meet the grand metaphor head-on, and dialogues with a for-real angel on the title-track, then tackles the big issues of death, guilt, and Social Darwinism (“Hide Away”). “When Your Light Goes Out” is a Dylan (Thomas) ‘raging against the dying of the light’, harmonising, or maybe double-tracking, with a the kind of anthemic potential to fill stadiums. Sure, the accordion on “World Burns On” might be lacerated by sharp rasps of Dylan’s harmonica and ‘long-distance information’ lyric-reference, while “Days Of Easy” does that lyric-torrent cascade with tasteful violin, but it’s alright Ma. Like other strong recent CD’s by Billy Pryce or Joe Wilkes it’s less retro, more betraying elements of a timeless Beat continuum that’s forever new.

(‘Down To Reverie’ was Robin’s debut album, followed by ‘Be Gone’ (2011), then ‘The Garden’ (Backshop) in 2015, until Robin’s fifth album ‘The Beggar’ (own label) arrived in 2018 – hear all nine tracks at )

This review originally published in:
‘R2: ROCK ‘N’ REEL’ Vol.2 No.19 (Jan/Feb)
(UK – January 2010)

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