Album: Barry Adamson, Back To The Cat (Central Control)

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Barry Adamson’s first album for his own label continues in much the same vein as his earlier Mute releases, with a series of dark-side ruminations on human frailty set to meticulously-crafted jazz-noir arrangements.

Tracks such as “Shadow Of Death Hotel” and “The Beaten Side Of Town” offer vivid, monochrome musical portraits of a Naked City in which everyone wears overcoats and snap-brim hats, smokes like there’s no tomorrow, and works as a gumshoe.

The lyrical tone is as hard-bitten as a James Ellroy interior monologue, marked by a black, bitter humour and a sour pessimism.

Even checking in at “love’s hotel” in the Southern soul ballad “I Could Love You”, he expects no more than misery, the opposite of what visitors to Adamson’s nicotine and- whiskey world will get from Back To The Cat.

"Spend A Little Time" from Back to the Cat features in this month's Independent Audio Player. CLICK HERE to listen.

To order any CD previewed here, call the Independent Music Service on 01634 832 789.