Adrian Crowley has one of those voices.
You'll know the sort.
You forget where you're walking as it comes on shuffle because it's so gorgeous. You start wondering when he's touring because you need to hear it in person, even if it means going on your own. It's easy to take people with this timeless tonality for granted, thinking they're two a penny. They're really not.
Crowley knows his voice is his key strength, hence all the air the record gives it. Instruments (nearly all played by Crowley) support and build around him, often fleetingly as when the strings drift in and out on 'Fortune Teller Song'. Lyrics are succinct, abstract enough to read into, poetic enough to fall for and always just the right side of optimistic. There is also a longing here to reconnect, whether it be with a person or the landscape (as the cover suggests). When he sings "And I've come back to find you / And then bend to your will" you can visualise the setting he describes.
This subtlety is conversely what holds the record back from greatness. The consistent pacing means that on initial listen much here echoes itself, but with time that changes.
This won't be the record of the year that challenges you the most. It may even make a good present for your parents. But at some point in your life it will pay dividends when you least expect it. Hearing these songs and - more precisely - that voice after a bad day at work, some bad news or on a winters night indoors is like hearing the sound of your best friend on the phone months after a row. And for that exact reason, everybody needs someone like Adrian Crowley in their life.
7Sean Thomas's Score