As Above, So Below

As Above, So Below

3.0 1
by Barry Adamson
     
 

Barry Adamson is playing quite the "jazz devil" on As Above, So Below. The album sees the dark noir guru taking a detour from the more experimental electronica of Oedipus Schmoedipus into a cool, brutal concept album of aggressive, ominous rock-jazz. It seems that a great deal of Nick Cave's cinematic themes have rubbed off on Adamson from his days as aSee more details below

Overview

Barry Adamson is playing quite the "jazz devil" on As Above, So Below. The album sees the dark noir guru taking a detour from the more experimental electronica of Oedipus Schmoedipus into a cool, brutal concept album of aggressive, ominous rock-jazz. It seems that a great deal of Nick Cave's cinematic themes have rubbed off on Adamson from his days as a Bad Seed. Where Cave deals mostly with vampiric goth ballads, Adamson creates his art under a moody, effective jazz noir cloud. Many of the songs shuffle about with a determined sense of cool, as Adamson utilizes deep crooning vocals; he often sounds remarkably like a more sane Nick Cave, especially on "Come Hell or High Water." Perhaps Adamson's work on David Lynch's Lost Highway soundtrack inspired the tales of dead detectives and shady women detailed on As Above, So Below. One can easily imagine these songs coming from a younger, rocking, and more sinister Angelo Badalamenti, a frequent Lynch collaborator. The album's high points include "Can't Get Loose," "Still I Rise," and "The Monkey Speaks His Mind." "Can't Get Loose" sees Adamson cooly cooing over keyboards reminiscent of New Order, with a fun, suave xylophone sound and a sample of "Can't Get Used to Losing You" by legendary songwriters Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman. The song operates under a pleasant, humorous atmosphere, while still displaying ample doses of Adamson's warped, dark vibes. "Still I Rise" is monumentally cool. Adamson sounds quite angry and defensive, sing-screaming "still I rise" repeatedly, alternating that mantra with verses of autobiographical, stream-of-consciousness lyrics. The final cry is as punishing and entertaining as it is crass. Barry Adamson has yet to release an album that isn't entirely compelling. As Above, So Below is a strong, winning mix of style, emotion, and rock-jazz noir power. It's a bold, satisfying vision from an artist who shows no fear in expressing the seedier sides of life.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/23/1998
Label:
Mute U.S.
UPC:
0724596903520
catalogNumber:
9035
Rank:
284947

Related Subjects

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Barry Adamson   Primary Artist,Bass,Guitar,Vocals
Seamus Beachen   Hammond Synth
Flood   Theremin
Henry Olsen   Bass
Adrian Lane   Trombone
Claudia Sarne   Background Vocals
Malcolm Ross   Guitar
Tim Weller   Drums
Mike Lovatt   Trumpet
Pete Whyman   Saxophone

Technical Credits

Barry Adamson   Programming,Producer,Brass Arrangment,Instrumentation
Intro   Art Direction
Roland Brown   Contributor
Flood   Producer,Instrumentation
Roger Johnson   Contributor
Daniel Miller   Executive Producer
Atticus Ross   Programming,Producer
Deptford Dave   Engineer
Marcus Salisbury   Contributor
Mandy Parnell   Mastering
Ebby Acquah   Contributor
Michael Bracewell   Liner Notes
Shaun Connon   Contributor

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