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King of Nothing Hill

3.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 3, 2002
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 3, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mute
  • ASIN: B00006IJ1X
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #432,151 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By A Customer on April 9, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Original Bad Seed member, film score composer and songwriter Barry Adamson returns with new album 'The King Of Nothing Hill' on Mute Records, his first new material since his 1998's release, 'As Above So Below'. Opener 'Cinematic Soul' is energetic '70s soul, pure funk all over, and sets the dark overtures for the rest of the album. 'Whispering Streets' is of a similar ilk, a relaxing blend of bouncy ragga beats and luxurious vocals. The velvet vocals of single 'Black Amour' is unashamedly reminiscent of Barry White, and this serves to add to the cinematic sounds that envelope the track. 'When Darkness Calls' is immersed in dark rhythms and soaring guitars, and 'The Second Stain' is an intensely dark swing tune with some piano tinkerings which only multiplies the eerie effect that this song radiates. 'Twisted Smile' and 'Le Matin Des Noire' trickle along with the same macabre concentration, and 'That Fool Was Me' is a more jazzed-up affair. 'The Crime Scene' opens with a sound of gunfire and helicopters circling overhead, and is the most upbeat track on the album, with spine-tingling violins and repetitive beats not a million miles away from drum 'n bass, and the beautiful 'Cold Comfort' brings the album to a close. Barry Adamson has made an album of grief-stricken songs and heartfelt instrumentals, and filled it with uncompromising, cinematic musical styles to touching and passionate effect.
Ricky
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By A Customer on September 5, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I have been a fan of Barry Adamson since I picked the Lost Highway soundtrack back in 1997 where I first met the man through his contribution to that disk. I think the first thing many fans will notice when they get their hands on his latest is that this album seems to be not quite so dark and brooding as some of our previous jaunts through Barry's Murky World.
I must confess I was more than a little bit worried about what I had gotten myself into when I heard the John & Yoko style kid's sing along chorus to the album's up-tempo funk opener "Cinematic Soul". This definitely didn't seem to be the Barry Adamson that I had grown to know and love through tracks like "Mitch & Andy", "Jazz Devil" and "Can't Get Loose".
But thankfully the albums 2nd track returns us to familar territory with the tale of the life of a hitman in "Whispering Streets". Black Amour is just that Barry doing his best impression of that Barry White. A great grooving and gyrating piece of phat phunk.
Throughout the rest of the disk Barry takes us once again on a voyage to Hell's Martini bar, where Barry and his HepCat buddies keep the soul flowing black, think and inky (and Frank, Deano & Sammy perform twice daily). Tunes like Le Matin Des Noire& That Fool Was Me really keep that Lucifer's Lounge feeling going while The Crime Scene feels like it could have been lifted from the soundtrack to the original Shaft.
Overall fans if you enjoy Mr Adamson's work, or that of guys like Nick Cave and Angelo Badalamenti (the guy who score's all David Lynch's movies) then buy this CD, slip into into a black tux, some cool cool shades and grab yourself a drink (and well you at it grab me one. Single Malt, preferable Glenmorangie or at least Black Label Johnny, on the rocks) and prepare to bask in the black radiance of the King Of Nothing Hill
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Format: Audio CD
Or is it Barry White? Wait, wait...Let's put things in perspective here. First of all, if there is one thing to be expected from Barry Adamson albums is that you can't know what to expect. Now, this is not necessarly a good thing or a bad thing.
In Barry's case though (and his fans, and I too being one, know that) it has proven to be mostly a VERY good thing. And, if there is something that definately characterises this man's music then it would be its darkness, whether he tackles alternative rock, jazz or electronic domains or whichever musical field.
In "King of Nothing Hill" Barry Adamson surprises. Already on the cover of the CD the "hints" are obvious: the artwork is a direct reference to 70's funk-psychedelia, and if you take a look inside (in the booklet) you will notice a photo of Barry's that looks like he has gone Shafty.
Has he? Yes. Completely? Well, it depends what you mean with that. The "King of Nothing...." is a funky record. Check that. It's a very funky record. The darkness isn't gone of course, how could it, but you will hear Barry doing his best imitation of the other Barry on a coupla songs (Barry White if the name rings a bell). A perfect imitation at that, too.
But, Adamson isnt an imitator. He might admire certain people, and we all do, but he has never been accused of lack of originality.
In this album tha funk is dirty and groovy like hell. Slick hitmen carrying their shade through the siren-rideen streets of the ghetto. Haunting conversations with Adamson being the narrator. Again, what will come to your mind is "blaxploitation" and being that this was the intent this LP succeds 100% at what it's getting at. Most of the songs could be seen as the soundtrack of a movie of that era.
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