Adam Randall’s “Bodies & Souls Were Meant To Be Together”
“There are moments in Adam Randall’s music that I think are pretty wonderful, and draw me back for a second listen. Then there are parts, different songs, parts of the same song, or even certain layers in the arrangement that shake my attention.” -BYBeth Yeckley
out of 10
Bodies & Souls Were Meant to be Together
October 21, 2008
There are moments in Adam Randall’s music that I think are pretty wonderful, and draw me back for a second listen. Then there are parts, different songs, parts of the same song, or even certain layers in the arrangement that shake my attention. It’s no surprise that, at least on Myspace, he rubs elbows with the likes of Andy Zipf and Parachute Musical (both previously reviewed/ interviewed on this site). He’s in a similar vein; Although accompanied by a band, he’s got that singer/ songwriter soloist in the corner of a coffee shop sort of vibe. He’s got a voice that can command a room, at times sounding like Colin Meloy of The Decemberists (which is totally a compliment).
Where I get the most tripped up is in the instrumentation. “Narrow House” begins with Jose Gonzalez-like guitar strumming (dirty, kind of and then bleeds into beautiful cello play. The percussion is simple, but excellent structure. Randall sings, “In the narrow house we are alone/ And we all must go there one by one/ And there is no turning back/ And there is no other door,” and you find yourself walking through this house with him.
Then comes along “The Biggest Wheel,” which presents a layering of elements that sounds a little forced, almost too raw. I feel a dissonance between the instrumentation and the vocals on “Casualties In A War With God,” like they are operating on two different planes—the guitar forced to slow down for the vocals. “Let The Mystery Stand” is too simple, with a two-chord, non-stop strumming Americana meets pop vibe that I could forego. And the last five songs of the album lose me to an unpolished and mildly repetitive nature that holds little appeal, although maybe they would be more interesting live.
But there are other highlights on this album, beyond “Narrow House.” “Bodies & Souls Were Meant To Be Together” is a wonderful song. Randall’s vocals are throaty, reminiscent of Damien Rice, paired with well-achieved falsettos that could resemble the shiny peaks on a meringue pie. It’s a soothing song that sings, “I heard you died/ In perfect peace/ In perfect peace/ With your wife there/ Beside the bed/ Fast asleep/ We climb so high/ We can’t keep up/ We can’t keep up.”
And “Moment” offers a nice acoustic intro that doesn’t sound rough, like fumbling hands stretching for chords, but rather boasts like the man on the mountain. It treads a soulful seam and really highlights Randall’s ability to vocally capture that feeling deep down in your belly. That he can sing, “This is the moment/ That you’ve been waiting for/ The dream you dreamed of/ Is just outside the door,” being equal parts milky smooth and burning fire, is enough to validate Adam Randall’s true talent to me. The cello is re-introduced, and this song creates a harmonious arrangement that would allow you to play this song a dozen times and still want more.
Adam Randall is good, and worth a listen. But I have to be choosy with his songs, because they don’t run together, in harmony or quality. The album is worth individual downloads, but probably not the whole thing.