Articles / Reviews

Adrian Borland - Alexandria press release sheet (PIAS 1989)

date: May 5, 1989


(1989 Play It Again Sam) 

You may remember ADRIAN BORLAND as the main vision and songsmith behind THE SOUND, the cult '80's rock group especially popular in Northern Europe. Although the band split in December 1987 Adrian continued to write songs, secure in the knowledge that the best way toward was to carry on apart from his eight year old band. The results can be heard on ALEXANDRIA, recorded after a year long absence which involved some low-key acoustic sets in the European capitols. Adrian produced the album himself, having already worked with a number of independent bands (he's soon to produce Felt's tenth album). He's learned alot about production, especially in the arrangement and simplification of songs to achieve the most direct effect possible. Guitar band maestro PAT COLLIER has been drafted in too to add his special touch to a few of the songs on display. 

Some of London's best musicians contributed to ALEXANDRIA, including Anto Thistlethwaite from the Waterboys - a favourite group of Adrian's on saxophone, harp. and a rather bizarre foot tambourine. The album was recorded in three weeks with different players dropping in every day, including a string quartet to play integral parts on songs such as BENEATH THE BIG WHEEL and ROGUE BEAUTY. A rough analogy between the new record and some of The Sound's brighter work can be drawn, though there's a simplicity and freshness of ideas here wholy Indicative of a brand new start. More than ever, the emphasis now lies with the song, with instruments used solely to breathe life into this ideal. Adrian has assumed complete control and in consequence a clearer, unhindered vision shines through. At the same time there's a virtuosity on display from his guests that we've come to expect from Danny Thompson's double bass, Graham Ward's drums, and Anto Thistlethwaite - but all locked up tight within the proper context of The Song. 

(PIAS 1989)

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