Peter Bradley Adams
Singer/songwriters in Nashville are ten a penny, but Leavetaking deserves to elevate Peter Bradley Adams to a level above the majority of his contemporaries in Music City.
A captivating blend of folk, Americana and pop, it’s undoubtedly one of the best albums of 2008 and comprehensively betrays the former Eastmountainsouth man’s modest claim in his press notes that he’s “still learning to write good songs.”
From the first bars of opener “The Longer I Run,” it’s clear that Leavetaking is a slight sonic and stylistic departure from Adams’ superb solo debut, Gather Up, while also remaining true to his contemporary and traditional influences.
Recorded with co-producer Lex Price in Nashville, Leavetaking is an unbelievably high quality album with a surprise around every corner. The poignant and sparse “Los Angeles” — inspired by a late-night flight into LAX airport — has a heartbreakingly beautiful melody; the mysterious acoustics of “Ohio” contrast impressively with the piano-led pop of “Always.” The country-tinged “I’ll Forget You” further demonstrates the diversity evident in Adams’ songwriting.
A reworking of Eastmountainsouth favorite “So You Are To Me” gives the song a new depth and resonance, while the acoustic “Keep Us” impresses with its delicate beauty and the chilling, atmospheric instrumental “Song For Viola” hints at Adams’ past musical endeavors as a TV and film music composer in LA.
The only complaint I have is that at nine songs, it’s just a little too short. But then, in the best showbiz tradition, Adams leaves the listener wanting more of his multilayered, haunting compositions, and that’s no bad thing.
Peter Bradley Adams: www.peterbradleyadams.com