The propulsive, less opulent, electro-pop counterpart to 2010's theatrical Game of Monogamy, Adult Film, the second solo outing (2011's Bigamy: More Songs from the Monogamy Sessions aside) from ex-Cursive frontman Tim Kasher, mines much of the same emotional territory as his debut. Kasher's predilection toward self-analysis is as prominent as it has been since his tenure with Cursive, though these days the 39-year-old Nebraskan is less focused on the pains of the present and more concerned with the missteps of the past and the potential miseries of the future. Musically, Adult Film is a smorgasbord of pop ephemera, with melodies crashing about like boozy butterflies, occasionally landing on an idea and then leaping back into the blue in search of less restrictive stimuli. This patchwork approach lends an interesting dynamic to early album cuts like "American Lit" and "Truly Freaking Out," both of which, like their author, thrash, flail, and churn about with little regard as to whether anyone's still on board, but their sonic complexities, when paired with Kasher's verbosity, can become overwhelming fast. Less fussy numbers like "You Scare Me to Death," "A Raincloud Is a Raincloud," and the twisted, melodious closer "A Lullaby, Sort Of," offer up subtler takes on Kasher's hopes (actually, he has none) and fears ("Waiting for my ship to come/I'm afraid it may have sunk"), but they carry with them such a miasma of anger and self-loathing that one begins to wish for the cold comfort of sonic bombardment to dull the pain.
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger