Television

Adventure

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    9
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Television's groundbreaking first album, Marquee Moon, was as close to a perfect debut as any band made in the 1970s, and in many respects it would have been all but impossible for the band to top it. One senses that Television knew this, because Adventure seems designed to avoid the comparisons by focusing on a different side of the band's personality. Where Marquee Moon was direct and straightforward in its approach, with the subtleties clearly in the performance and not in the production, Adventure is a decidedly softer and less aggressive disc, and while John Jansen's production isn't intrusive, it does round off the edges of the band's sound in a way Andy Johns' work on the first album did not. But the two qualities that really made Marquee Moon so special were Tom Verlaine's songs and the way his guitar work meshed with that of Richard Lloyd, whose style was less showy but whose gifts were just as impressive, and if you have to listen a bit harder to Adventure, it doesn't take long to realize that both of those virtues are more than apparent here, and while one might wish the sound had a bit more bite on "Foxhole" or "Ain't That Nothin'," the quieter, more layered sound is just what the doctor ordered for "Glory" and "The Dream's Dream." Sure, Marquee Moon is a better album, but Adventure has one of the greatest guitar bands of all time playing superbly on a set of truly fine songs, and albums like this come along far too infrequently for anyone to ignore music this pleasurable simply on the grounds of relative evaluation; it's not quite a masterpiece, but it's a brilliant record by any yardstick.

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