Takes: A Collection of Covers 1991-2001

Takes: A Collection of Covers 1991-2001

by Adem
     
 

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A covers album of a particularly personal stripe, Adem Ilhan's third solo record has all the intimacy and hand-crafted charm of a beloved mixtape, bringing the warmth of spirit and imaginative acoustic palette of his earlier works to bear on a handful of his favorite songs from the formative period (for Adem himself and for indie music in general) between 1992 and…  See more details below

Overview

A covers album of a particularly personal stripe, Adem Ilhan's third solo record has all the intimacy and hand-crafted charm of a beloved mixtape, bringing the warmth of spirit and imaginative acoustic palette of his earlier works to bear on a handful of his favorite songs from the formative period (for Adem himself and for indie music in general) between 1992 and 2001. Anyone who was an ardent follower of the burgeoning "alternative" scene during these years should find something to smile at among Adem's song choices, which cover many of the era's big names (Smashing Pumpkins, PJ Harvey, Björk) but steer clear of familiar hits in favor of more obscure single sides and album tracks. Despite a fair breadth of source material (given the constraints of time and milieu), Takes functions quite cohesively on its own terms, and there's plenty to enjoy here whether or not listeners are familiar with the original versions. Many of the picks play to Adem's strengths in obvious (and thoroughly effective) ways -- the fluid, melodic guitar lines of Pinback ("Loro") and Bedhead ("Bedside Table") translate naturally to his layered acoustic picking style, while the spare, serenely transcendent emotionalism of Low's "Laser Beam" and Yo La Tengo's "Tears Are in Your Eyes" make a fine fit for his achingly rich, just-slightly-gritty voice (which, if anything, is perhaps a tad forceful for these utterly delicate songs.) Other selections involve a bit more reinvention -- it's no surprise to see Tortoise on the track listing, given Adem's post-rock backstory with Fridge, but he twists the lengthy rarity "Gamera" to his own unexpected ends, using the original track's introductory guitar figure as a launch-pad for a fast-and-loose free-folk excursion. Most intriguing, and perhaps the album's standout moment, is his Aphex Twin homage, which combines two tracks off The Richard D. James Album, smoothing out the freakish vocals of "To Cure a Weakling Child" and grafting them onto an impressively detailed acoustic transcription of "Girl/Boy Song," with surprisingly mellow, cheerful results. Elsewhere, dEUS ("Hotellounge") and the Breeders ("Invisible Man") get stripped of their rougher, grungier elements in favor of lusciously thick arrangements replete with glockenspiel, harmonium, piano, and an array of plucked string instruments -- all of which, along with dulcimer, Autoharp, violin, and assorted found percussion, make up the bountiful sonic trick bag from which Adem draws intuitively and judiciously throughout the album. Not an especially consequential offering, but a tremendously lovable one, Takes may be aptly and cleverly titled (punning on at least three senses of the word), but it's absolutely an act of giving on multiple levels as well: a showcase for the considerable musical gifts of its creator, a sincere token of tribute to his inspirations, and a generous treat for his listeners.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/24/2008
Label:
Domino Records Uk
UPC:
5034202017721
catalogNumber:
177

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Adem   Primary Artist

Technical Credits

Lisa Germano   Composer
PJ Harvey   Composer
Kim Deal   Composer
Georgia Hubley   Composer
Ira Kaplan   Composer
Mark Rankin   Engineer
John McEntire   Composer
John Herndon   Composer
Douglas McCombs   Composer
Bundy K. Brown   Composer
Rob Crow   Composer
Dan Bitney   Composer
Rudy Trouvé   Composer
Björk Gudmundsdottir   Composer
James McNew   Composer
Alan Sparhawk   Composer
Mimi Parker   Composer
Matt Kadane   Composer
Jason Evans   Artwork
Zak Sally   Composer
Adem Ilhan   Arranger,Producer

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