Adrian Borland

Beautiful Ammunition

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With each solo LP, Adrian Borland takes another small step away from his body of work with the Sound (1979-1987). This third outing, his first since leaving the Play It Again Sam label, is much like Alexandria and Brittle Heaven in that it often strays into a too-genteel, almost adult contemporary feel (though it never is as ossified as most VH1 fodder; Borland does have real soul to his guitar pop). His music as a solo artist is still too light and airy compared to the true spark of the three talents who backed him all those years in the Sound, and is too glossy compared to what might work better with this material, a lo-fi, more dirty, home demo approach, which would better bring out what Borland excels at: natural-beauty songwriting and his familiar voice. For that's what saves him; though as per his other solo records, nothing here ever comes close to competing with such late-period Sound classics as "Temperature Drop" or "Iron Years," the material is always finely honed and pleasant, especially "Someone Will Love You Today," three-quarters of the way through.

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