On I Could Sleep for a Thousand Years, the third record released under his own name, Adam Franklin keeps his string of releasing great albums alive. He’s been making top-quality guitar rock since Swervedriver began in 1990 and the sound of Franklin’s laconic voice surrounded by waves of guitars is a pleasure fans of his work have come to rely upon. This album lives up to any and all expectations his past work has created. It’s the most well rounded of his solo albums, folding in both the relaxed sounds that predominated on his previous album Spent Bullets and the noisier, more intense feel of Swervedriver. Franklin and his band are equally adept at creating laid-back, easygoing ballads, more uptempo, high-energy tracks that feature spiraling guitars and crashing drums, and where they sound best is in the midtempo groove that fits neatly in between and allows Franklin's cinematic strengths to shine. No matter the tempo, Franklin and guitarist Locksley Taylor are able to fit their guitars together in an interlocking style that is very reminiscent of classic Swervedriver; mixing languidly on the quiet songs, spiraling and fizzing on the louder tracks. It makes for a very thick-sounding record; very atmospheric but powerful, too. They keep it pretty simple throughout, only adding extra instruments on the gospel-influenced "Lord Help Me, I’ve Wasted a Soul." Getting a sound is only part of making a good record, you need the songs too. No problems in that department, as Franklin has reliably come up with another batch of songs that sound good on first listen and sink in deeper each time you play the album. Whether it’s the epic balladry of "Lord Help Me," the widescreen swerve of "Yesterday Has Gone Forever," the sweetly acoustic "Mary Gunn," or the careening rocker "Sinking Ships," Franklin’s gift for melody and a hooky chorus is as strong as ever. There’s a melancholy feel to the record, a kind of pleasant autumnal haze that settles in after a few tracks and stays with you after the record is over. You can enjoy the shining, guitar-friendly surface of the album or you can dive in deep and feel the emotional power, either way I Could Sleep for a Thousand Years is another small triumph for Adam Franklin, and more proof that he didn’t just dry up and blow away once Swervedriver ended.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra