Adamson, Gary - Into Light

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Water's Edge Music
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 57:35:00

After a gentle synth piece - "First Light" - you don't expect the next track to be a mid-tempo rocker, but that is pretty much the way things go on Gary Adamson's Into Light. Musically, I guess a good comparison would be America - something I thought a day or two after last listening to this album whilst America came on the radio. But, it would be America if Jon Anderson were on vocals. Well, the truth is that Adamson only sounds mostly like Anderson, but in a side by side sing-off, one would detect noticeable differences. It's more than just that they both have rather high singing voices, though, as on "Shine On" and elsewhere the spiritual lyrics are also Anderson-like. I wouldn't use Yes at all as a comparison though except in some vague way, though to say they couldn't have been an influence would be incorrect, as Yes surely had to be of some influence. I'd venture to say it is Anderson alone that is the influence. I suppose one could also support the argument by mentioning that "Out There" includes in the lyrics the phrase "change we must," but it could also be coincidence.

70s MOR is recalled in "Turns To Silence." Perhaps it's the orchestrations that make me think that. I haven't really heard this kind of sound since the 70s and the recent 70s-retro that took place. The half-speed bridge on this track really gives you the sense of a world spinning down, sliding vocals descend like one is letting out a deep breath. "Over And Over" is a paean to the power of music, it's ability to stick in one's mind. But I suspect there is also a more spiritual subtext here as well -- hymnals and such that one often finds sustenance in, though I'm not sure I could state my thoughts without getting overly verbose. A similar sense is felt in "All We Need," as a baby-boomer looks back on the late 60's, to Woodstock and the Summer Of Love and to the idealistic future imagined then but not quite so much a reality now. Reading the title, you might think of the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love," and that is what the title refers to, but that isn't the only Beatles reference here. Line three of the first stanza, it's "The Long And Winding Road" ("long winding road") the last line of the third stanza it's "Eleanor Rigby" ("all the lonely people..." )...of course, in doing this, you then wonder if every word or word phrase isn't a bit of homage. Is the used of the word "satisfaction" a nod at the Stones? And in doing so we miss the point - it isn't the songs he's referring to but the sentiments in them, the meanings ... and the contrasts between then and now. It's a song about someone ruminating on the past that makes you ruminate on the past and think of the present. And of the future.

None of it would work if the arrangements weren't rich and full, warm and inviting -- something I seem to say a lot, but it puts it all succinctly . Overall the album seems upbeat and optimistic, the underlying messages hopeful. It doesn't really give you the warm fuzzies, and if it did, I'd probably be liking it to Barney. No this serious yet comforting. If you aren't a fan of Anderson's way of singing then you might not care for Adamson, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't give him a listen. A release like this will probably get lost among the hundred and hundreds released each year, but not because it should, but because the singer-songwriter seems to have gone out of fashion. Certainly they'll still find their audience, those who have been with them from the beginning, those who are just entering the late 30-somethings and on. And on this, I'm hoping I'm wrong, but to most who want to appear to be hip and cool (and still in their youth) James Taylor is bit too creaky. Of course, I'm speaking to an audience that is either eclectic enough to have room for all genres, or has eschewed glossy pop marketing for music that has substance. And that Adamson has.

First Light (1:21) / Shine On (5:19) / Into Light (3:52) / A Place (0:53) / Turns To Stone (5:15) / Over And Over (4:36) / Don't Walk Away (3:56) / Out There (5:46) / All We Need (4:42) / Watching Hoping Waiting (4:57) / Closer (4:18) / Masters Of Time (2:05) / Matter Of Time (4:16) / Aurora (6:19)

Gary Adamson - lead and background vocals, drums, percussion, piano, organ, bass, synthesizers and orchestrations
Michael Garner - bass, acoustic guitar
David Hirschman - 6, 12, acoustic and electric guitars (3,5,6,10,13,14)
Pat Jones - 6, 12, acoustic and electric guitars (2,4,9,11,13)
Richard Steele - 6, 12, acoustic and electric guitars (8)
Tim Curtin - 6 string acoustic and electric guitars (3)

Into Light (1999)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: June 5th 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1400
Language: english


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