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Barry Adamson | King of Nothing Hill | review | soul | rock | Lollipop

Barry Adamson

The King of Nothing Hill (Mute)
by Lex Marburger

The King of Nothing Hill (Mute)
When all the rest of The Bad Seed spun-offs are withering away in their self-created pits of despair & moribundity (with the possible exception of Blixa), they might wonder where all the soul went. Well, Barry Adamson took it, and he's not giving it back. For his latest solo work, The King of Nothing Hill, he expands on the crystalline funk of The Negro Inside Me, meshing it with the cool jazz of Oedipus Shmoedipus and the non-existent soundtracks of Moss Side Story. Launching out with the Ike Turner/Funkadelic/Issac Hayes-flavored "Cinematic Soul," Adamson gives us classic funk, complete with breakdowns, Hammond organs, and his kid singing along. But the light-hearted introduction belies the underlying nature of ...Nothing Hill. We quickly move into the lust-driven "Black Amour," a tribute from one Barry to another, the string lines and basso profundo delivery a guarantee of a good time. But that won't last long, as "The Second Stain" brings in film-noir fog, getting drunk in a Hollywood dive, just waiting for a blow to the back of the head. "Le Matin Des Noire" is a Twin Peaks shuffle, mapping out the darker parts of a criminal mind, while "Twisted Smile" brings back a strong soul to the mix. The centerpiece is without a doubt "The Crime Scene," a score for a movie never written, a resume for any and all future surrealistic crime dramas (not that he needs it, he wrote for Natural Born Killers, after all). Adamson ends it with "Cold Comfort," an acoustic (-ish) ballad that sets us back down where we started, the final stop on the bus ride through his film-scored psyche. Hell of a trip.
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