Articles / Reviews

Full Linernotes for Harmony & Destruction by Win Borland (25-02-2002)

date: Feb 25, 2002


 


HARMONY & DESTRUCTION

“Harmony and Destruction” is an album which Bob & I listen to with mixed feelings. It was an album which Adrian was very excited about. He had high hopes of it marking a new beginning for his solo career. The first week in the studio went well. He was happy, relaxed and even laid back as the drummer, Johnny Miracle confirmed. But by the end of the second week there was a change in Adrian. He was returning home distraught and anxious. The passion and energy of the guide vocals show that he had ignored the medical advice to pace himself. He had drained his reserves of emotional energy which was to have tragic consequences. In spite of attempts to persuade him to take a break, he left the house that fatal Monday morning intent on going to the studio to finish his vocals. He did indeed sacrifice his health and life for his music.

Writing songs was a form of therapy for Adrian and helped him to come to terms with his problems and in the process, as we know, helped others as well. But there was a price to pay for such introspection. As he acknowledged in “Song Damn Song”, it was a high risk occupation. Many of the songs on this album are concerned with his illness. From my own experience since Adrian’s death I can appreciate the movingly accurate description of depression that he gives in “Heart Goes Down Like the Sun”. “Destiny Stopped Screaming” gives a vivid picture of a person driven to achieve great things but constrained by his illness. The line ‘At the crossroads once again’ refers to the dilemma he often faced of which way to go - to live or to die. In “The Last Train Out of Shatterville” he confronts his drinking problem. The line ‘Tequila smile meets whisky kiss’ describes so well the seductive lure of alcohol. There is even a reference in this song to his third suicide attempt - ‘When you slipped from kerb to bonnet’. Shatterville was indeed a place he needed to escape from.

Finally “Living on the Edge of God”, in spite of its brilliant guitaring, at times almost frenetic, is particularly hard to listen to since it is like a cry of pain referring as it does to all the things that troubled him: the demons deep inside, the voices up loud, the fear, etc. Balanced against these songs there is the delightful “Summer Wheels”. This is the Adrian we remember, exuberant and full of life. The album is a blend of many of the features of Adrian’s previous works with its anger, its cynicism, its rawness, its thoughts on life and love, its melodic interludes and its vitality, truly amazing even if unfinished.

2002 WIN BORLAND (Adrian's mother)



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