Flugente

Flugente

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On his solo debut, Jerry Adler aka Flugente takes a powder from fronting the Blam to, it seems, reenact part of Before Sunrise by wandering around Europe and waiting for the muse to strike him. Julie Delpy might not have been involved, but at least the poetry is better than Ethan Hawke's by default. Still, any album with song titles like "Reflections in Spain on the Subject of My 38th Birthday" and "I'm Thinking About Going Home" sound more like LiveJournal entry titles, but with this caveat in mind, Flugente is an easygoing enough affair; if it's not as uniquely beautiful an American fish out of water album as, say, Chris Eckman's A Janela, Adler has recorded a series of low-key songs that suit the moody cover art and the sense of getting somewhere to unwind and ruminate. Ultimately, that sense of a reflective state is the album's best point -- Adler's high, sometimes cracked-voice singing is no surprise on any number of fronts, and the same goes for the confessional aspect of his lyrics, touching on familiar tropes about loss of artistic inspiration, dealing with the locals, and not always knowing the language. It's of less impact than his ear for an understated hook or a suddenly thrilling chorus -- if those aren't surprises either, he knows how to make them sound good -- though ultimately the songs all blend into each other fairly easily, with little variation in style either musically or lyrically outside of a song or two, like the mostly vocal-only "It's a Modern World." Neither a clear success nor a total failure, Flugente sounds like it was necessary enough for Adler to get out of his system if little more than that -- but that said, "Standing Pissing on the Pebbles" is a great song title, full stop.

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