on January 8, 2000
Fellow shoppers, heed my advice: Soul Murder is definitely not for everyone. It runs amok through the most unexpected musical pieces you're likely to find anywhere. From swinging jazz to bizaare narratives to soothing melodies begging to be jammed over an elevator speaker, this work has only one underlying, fundamental flaw-- severe lack of continuity. The musical styles Barry displays don't sound like they belong together, they don't even sound like they're composed by the same artist. I suppose this over-abundance of eclectic sound does have its benefit... the element of surprise definitely gives this album some flair. Overall, I must admit that I was very satisfied once I got a chance to sit through the whole thing. It rolls itself out slowly, and just when I think I'm going to lose interest another layer is exposed. So if you are interested in the works of Barry Adamson but are not interested in a complete system shock, my suggestion is to check out Moss Side Story or the soundtrack for the film Delusion. Soul Murder definitely takes a walk through a very strange park. I never thought I'd hear something like this again. That is, until I heard Barry's 1996 album Oedipus Schmoedipus. But that, fair listener, is another story...
As other reviewers have said, Soul Murder is nothing if not a bizarre piece of work. Those familiar with Barry Adamson already know to expect the unexpected, but those new to his work may find this jarring indeed, especially since the project only starts to get some traction with a faux-newscast report of a lynching.
Soul Murder starts out a little weak and disjointed, but the listeners ears perk up with the gruesome lynching report on A Gentle Man of Colour. And except for the opening monologue, an interlude entitled A Trance of Hatred, and the Epilogue that's all there is of the bizarre. The remainder of the CD following A Trance of Hatred is a delicious pastiche of jazz, soul, and Adamson's trademark "movie music" style, much of which is so relaxing it serves as an antidote to the disquieting Gentle Man of Colour.
Though this CD is not for everyone, I find that most listeners open up to it once they get past the lynching episode.
In addition to A Gentle Man of Colour, I most enjoy the Violation of Expectation, Checkpoint Charlie, Cool Green World, and On The Edge of Atonement.
With Soul Murder, Barry Adamson once again bares his incredible talents and serves up another strange brew for his fans to ponder. Get this one while its still available.
on April 30, 2000
...for part two. The world of words is torn apart and we are given opportunities to gasp in horror and laugh in surprised amusement. Violation of expectation, indeed. The world is at once a comfortable and sadistic junction for every emotion that flows from our souls. The soundtrack to our fears and retributions mashes the hair-raising and the sublime into one cruel, beautiful mess. For lovers of jazz and car crashes.