‘The Garden’ from Robin Adams - an undaunted delivery of truth(March 20, 2015)
Melancholy is a strong word, often interpreted to only mean ‘miserable’ and ‘gloomy’, however it also reflects as ‘thoughtful’ and ‘contemplative’, and that’s why melancholy works for ‘The Garden’ from Robin Adams. Its themes of working with difficulties, struggle for expression, courageous sacrifice and a fearless faith in persistence lay out the effort involved in creativity, and that prompts a melancholy and meditative perspective.
Throughout, Adams’s cites influences from the life and death of Vincent VanGogh, exploring the man’s connections with both darkness and light, both mentally and physically and their impact on his art. “He was willing to put himself through that turmoil without question, regardless of a distinct lack of success. That is something that as an individual scares me and as a songwriter and artist I am in awe of. Most of creativity is stumbling on the muse and then everything else tends to fall into place.” To write songs that expose such levels of upheaval and endeavour demands more than empathy, it needs association through experience, something Adams knows through suffering a chronic illness.
The songs on ‘The Garden’ come with a raw, almost primal quality, coupled with an undaunted delivery of truth … much as you might expect. However, there’s more to ‘The Garden’ than frankness of the lyrics and softly finger picked guitar. Adams voice pours out the expression of each word with an openness that draws the listener closer to each song’s inner workings. This gives the album a participative feel, it creates an act of connection where message and listener become one. The connection works within the eponymous ‘The Garden’ through the aching ‘Paint Me The Day’ and ‘Troubled Skies to the harrowing honesty of ‘Right To Run’, Adams opens the doors of inner-struggle and confusing uncertainty subjecting places of darkness to the light of examination.
Released on 13 April through Backshop Records and supported by Help Musicians UK, the scrutiny of ‘The Garden’ reveals some powerful thought provoking impressions … but it’s definitely worth the encounter. You will find Robin Adams here: www.facebook.com/robinadamsband
Reviewer: Tim Carroll