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Adams and Eves – Dear Professor

September 5, 2011

Adams and Eves debut album Dear Professor was released April 23rd, 2011 at San Diego’s Park Gallery. I was lucky enough to be able to attend this album release and do photography for the event.  If I was a better person, I would have had this written before the end of April. Instead I’m here at the beginning of September trying to figure out what words I want published. I suppose the biggest benefit of this period of procrastination is that it’s given me more time to reflect, read other reviews of the album, and really try to put together some sort of opinion.

I’m sure a person who was into the genre (whatever genre this album falls into) could rattle off a dozen artists that Dear Professor brings to mind, but I’m not that person. Instead I’m stuck with somewhat of an outsider’s perspective trying to describe an album that covers a few genres and creates an eclectic mix of indie-folk, bluegrass and country. The opening track begins with a soft vibraphone piece and the ending track finishes with a lo-fi acoustic piece reminiscent of an old record you pulled out of your parent’s collection and played on their wobbly 30-year-old phonograph. In between, Adam Powell and his band (composed of two musical families) take us on a journey into his pocket, across West Texas, underwater and to the doctor. All along they keep the listener engaged and grounded. These songs are playful without pushing the listener into feeling disconnected by maintaining a level of musical authority and lyrical precision that demands attention.

I really enjoy this album. Everyone I’ve talked to who has listened to this album loves it. I won’t say that this album is flawless. There are a couple of songs I’m tempted to skip when I listen through, but the quality of the other 9 tracks easily makes up for it. The only other complaint that I’ve made to anyone about this album is this: I really think Adams and Eves shines as a live band. All of the emotion poured into this album and given off on every track is amplified in the live setting as the chaos that is live music can only do. I have always been impressed with the level of precision that this band achieves live when I’ve seen so many major label bands fail to meet the expectations their albums produce.

If I was handing out stars they’d be gold and this album would get five out of five. If it were a movie, Rotten Tomatoes would certify it fresh. Siskel, Ebert, and Roeper would give it three thumbs up (was Roeper allowed to give a thumbs up?). Unfortunately (for my pocketbook) or perhaps fortunately (for my own sanity) I’m not any of these things. Instead I’m just going to say that this album is genius, and if you like good music you should check it out.

Adams and Eves are playing on Monday, September 5th at the Park Gallery. As it goes for all Park Gallery events, this is a free show. You can pick up a copy of the record on vinyl at a show or through their webstore. If vinyl won’t work for you, download their digital album from bandcamp.

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