Adam Randall is a talented singer/songwriter who has been making music for more than twenty years and has released five albums. His latest Different Blood is a well-produced 11-song album that combines pop, rock and country. Randall writes accessible songs that are hard not to appreciate, which find roots in bands like Ryan Adams and Wilco. What is unique about Randall is that he prefers a narrative and writing from a third party perspective. Adams says, “The record itself is written from the perspective of several characters that I tried to develop a voice for.” The song titles themselves are indicative of this as you have songs called “The Believer,” “The Atheist” and “The Mechanic.”
Randall kicks off the album with a feel good song entitled “Burn.” The main guitar melody is very catchy as is the vocal melody that carries the song. Randall sings “Are we gonna burn, are we gonna burn everything we started” in a lower octave on the first verse but on the second verse he goes up an octave, which increases the intensity and emotional impact of the lyrics. It’s an impressive opener and is a nice segue to the country-tinted song “The Mechanic.” It revolves around a basic I to V bass line and loose guitar parts. “The Faithful” combines a creative drumbeat with bass and an acoustic guitar while “The Optimist” has an exceptional melancholy vocal part that was a great fit for Randall. I particularly enjoyed the instrumental ending with the affected synth/organ.
“The Atheist” starts off as a sparse song with acoustic guitar and Randall’s voice before the drums and bass enter. I found this song to be one of the most beautiful on the album. The orchestral strings that enter only add to the emotional weight of the song. Randall sounds a bit like Colin Meloy from the Decemberists as he sings “ And it's what you're headed for / When the heat death brings you down.” The song grows more intense as it progresses and climaxes with a swirling combination of crashing drums, guitars and cascading strings.
“The Wager” is a soft, melodic acoustic number that sheds percussion in favor of focusing on the vocal line. It’s another testament to Randall’s talent. The album closes with the melancholy sparse song entitled “Different Blood.” Randall’s vocal harmony is strategically implemented for an impactful closer.
Randall’s work is consistently solid and a majority of the songs leave a lasting impression. There is not much to criticize here. Different Blood is an exceptional album that you will not want to miss.
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