11 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

From his tenure with Magazine and The Bad Seeds to his solo work, Barry Adamson has enjoyed exploring the twisted fringes of desire while keeping his music engaging and accessible. I Will Set You Free is no exception—its tunes explore lust, corruption, and spirituality with a feel for brazen hooks and visceral rhythms. Adamson’s leering croon wraps around insinuating numbers like “Turnaround,” “Get Your Mind Right," and “Looking to Love Somebody” with a cool nonchalance. He moves with a kinky swagger through “The Power of Suggestion” and takes on a Burt Bacharach–like sophistication for “If You Love Her,” hinting at dangerous excesses beneath his suave persona. Adamson’s supple, deep-toned bass lines and bold production ideas define the album musically. Film noir soundscapes (“The Trigger City Blues”), buoyant rockers (“The Sun and the Sea”), and yearning ballads (“Stand In”) show the sweep of his vision. Overall, I Will Set You Free tempers its pop ambitions with a certain subversive edge, suggesting that Adamson hasn’t left his early punkish instincts behind.

EDITORS’ NOTES

From his tenure with Magazine and The Bad Seeds to his solo work, Barry Adamson has enjoyed exploring the twisted fringes of desire while keeping his music engaging and accessible. I Will Set You Free is no exception—its tunes explore lust, corruption, and spirituality with a feel for brazen hooks and visceral rhythms. Adamson’s leering croon wraps around insinuating numbers like “Turnaround,” “Get Your Mind Right," and “Looking to Love Somebody” with a cool nonchalance. He moves with a kinky swagger through “The Power of Suggestion” and takes on a Burt Bacharach–like sophistication for “If You Love Her,” hinting at dangerous excesses beneath his suave persona. Adamson’s supple, deep-toned bass lines and bold production ideas define the album musically. Film noir soundscapes (“The Trigger City Blues”), buoyant rockers (“The Sun and the Sea”), and yearning ballads (“Stand In”) show the sweep of his vision. Overall, I Will Set You Free tempers its pop ambitions with a certain subversive edge, suggesting that Adamson hasn’t left his early punkish instincts behind.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5

5 Ratings

5 Ratings

Always

MrVertigo13

I always had a great respect and admiration for Barry Adamson's work. His oeuvre, if you will has been hit and miss but when he hits, he hits it brilliantly and on this album he nailed it once again. I'm already a big fan of his earlier works particularly of "Soul Murder," "Moss Side Story" and the mischievous "The Negro Inside Me," borrowing from Jim Thompson's "The Killer Inside Me." Adamson, loves the gritty urban stories of sex, crime, mayhem and the hilarity of tragedy w/a dose of corrupted comedies that we set in our lives. Oh, should I add his son's can be mirthful and sexy? Here he strikes all those chords and the some. He feels and sounds inspired and as usual all the songs work by themselves and as a cohesive whole. Kudos to Adamson and may he keep producing great music to contemplate the city as it moves day-today and into the night that holds mysteries we never expected.

About Barry Adamson

Barry Adamson's work as a bassist for Magazine and Nick Cave's Bad Seeds gave little indication of the complex, cinematic works he has composed as a solo artist. After leaving the Bad Seeds in 1987, Adamson decided to follow the path of film composers like John Barry, Ennio Morricone, and Bernard Herrmann, whose work had intrigued him since childhood. His first full-length album, 1989's Moss Side Story (he had released one previous EP in 1988), was a tour de force, blending post-punk, industrial, spy guitar, and various classic movie composer quotes into a seamless 54-minute soundtrack to an ominous film noir that didn't exist. This recording led to Adamson's work on soundtracks for actual films in the early '90s, including Delusion, Gas Food Lodging, and Shuttle Cock. Adamson also continued to compose quasi-cinematic recordings for imaginary films like 1996's Oedipus Schmoedipus, although none have matched the sustained excitement of Moss Side Story. As Above, So Below followed in 1998 and a best-of compilation titled The Murky World of Barry Adamson appeared a year after that.

Adamson returned in 2002 with The King of Nothing Hill, his first collection of new material in four years. Stranger on the Sofa followed in 2006, Adamson's first for his Central Control International imprint. Back to the Cat, his second album for the label, was released in March 2008. Its title track was used in the popular video game Alan Wake. He also took part in the first of the Howard Devoto's Magazine reunions in 2008, completing one tour before leaving again to concentrate on his own music. In 2010 he issued the digital-only single "Rag and Bone." It was released in physical form as a 12" single in 2011. The same year he wrote, directed, and scored the film Therapist. Adamson followed the single with his next full-length, I Will Set You Free, on his Central Control International label. It was released on Valentine's Day in 2012, followed by a world tour. He also contributed the closing title theme to the film The Sweeney by director Nick Love and played bass on two tracks from Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds' Push the Sky Away.

Adamson offered an aural sneak peak of his next album with "Texas Crash" in November 2015. The full-length, Know Where to Run, was released by his Central Control label in February of the following year. In April 2017, Adamson dropped another EP, Love Sick Dick, a six-song serving of dark but groove-laden cinematic funk. ~ Richie Unterberger

HOMETOWN
Moss Side, Manchester, England
BORN
June 1, 1958

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