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Adrian Borland - Cinematic review (Hearsay nr.12 1996)

date: Dec 12, 1996


(Resolve/ Setanta) 

Last issue it was Mark Burgess, this time Adrian Borland; refugees from critically acclaimed, 1980's cult bands making impressive new albums. Isn't it great when your old favourites don't let you down? Borland was lead singer with The Sound, a band who always meant more on the continent than in their home country, as shown by the fact that this new solo effort is already out in Germany and Holland. The good news is that a release via Setanta is likely by the time you read this. Cinematic is a fifteen song, 64 minute CD that doesn't outstay its welcome, doesn't lose the plot towards the middle of the second half and -believe it or not-leaves you with the feeling at the end that you want to hear the whole damn thing over again. 

Not something that can be said of many of the 60-minute-plus CDs released these days... It's a wonderfully varied and inventive collection, individual songs leaping out on first and second listen, from the shimmering acoustic ruminations of the title track ("no-one can see the film that you star in/ they won't pay the price to come in to your cinematic life") to the tense guitar and programmed percussion of Neon And Stone. Long Dark Train is a movingly delivered plea for judicious use of your vote at the next general election, but manages to keep it subtle. Another stand-out track, Heading Emotional South, is a painfully incisive account of the end of a relationship; ground that's covered regularly but rarely this effectively.

Musically, it's sparse and chilling, lyrically it's painfully on target: "I know this sinking feeling, that salt water sting/ 'the bottom line I'm underneath it/ I hang on every word you say." 'the whole album rings with the realisation that when things are looking bad they may just get even worse, but that if you can retain some of that youthful hope and naivety, you will carry on. 'this is certainly not a depressing record, it's just not that simple. What it is is a rewarding collection of songs that I think you will find yourself returning to again and again. 

1996 Simon Heavisides (Hearsay Magazine) 

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