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Adrian Borland - Alexandria review (Paul Davies 1989)

date: Sep 9, 1989


(1989 Play It Again Sam) 

For much of the 1980s Adrian Borland ploughed a seemingly interminable furrow with his former band The Sound, a second division outfit purveying angst-laden gloom to a cultish following. On his debut solo LP Borland appears to have left the dank days of long overcoats and dark atmospherics behind, Alexandria being a modestly impressive collection of bitter-sweet love songs.

Whilst his voice is not Borland's greatest asset, a curious hybrid of Lou Reed monotone and Ian McCulloch grandeur, he delivers these neatly crafted songs with some conviction, teasing the melodic hooks out of each one. The best of an above average bunch include the restrained acoustic power pop of Crystalline, the retro Roxy Music stylisms of Community Call, the melancholy chiming Shadow Of Your Grace, and the looping offbeat charm of Beneath The Big Wheel, which compellingly counterpoints a sombre string quartet with roguish skittering electric guitars. 

Paul Davies 

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