Having embarked on a solo career in 2005, Birmingham, Alabama native Peter Bradley Adams has seemingly shown no signs of slowing down. He’s now about to release no less than his sixth solo album, the wryly-titled and self-produced A Face Like Mine. With this album, he’s created his own style of Americana; nestling his sometimes very softly delivered vocals with a sedate guitar, a subtle banjo and other instruments arranged in a manner that fits the song, which if you think about it, envelopes you like a warm blanket on a cold day. With this album, Mr. Adams continues to define, as his trademark, simple musical sophistication.
“Good Man” is a perfect example of that “warm blanket” feeling as it opens the album; starting with a quietly picked guitar, it slowly builds with a gentle rhythm, a finely applied slide guitar and very subtle keyboard wrapping around Mr. Adams’ vocals; the very deft finger picking on “Who Else Could I Be” leads the charge into the desperation-sound/feel of the song, while low-key, there is an air of sadness in this track and makes it all the more effective (the banjo is a very nice touch) and “Lorraine” is as straightforward a plea as one could hope to write (although, I must confess, I found myself singing David Essex’s “Rock On” mixed with R.E.M.’s “Drive” along with the verses – not in a snarky way; it just seemed to work). “On Jordan’s Stormy Banks” is probably my favorite track from the collection, with its hypnotic finger-picked riff and the vocal delivery and “Come Tomorrow” is the perfect way to close out the album; a lyric filled with perspective and memory but also maintains a sense of hope (listen to the lyrics on the chorus) and the guitar solo is exquisite.
This is an album that breathes “comfort”; the nature and overall texture to the songs; the delivery and production make you feel, indeed, warm – home – in a safe, content and thoughtful place. And from my ear, the album sounds like much of it was recorded “live” (I may be wrong) in that the performances were played together, which makes for a stronger delivery. Either way, Peter Bradley Adams has an album we should all wrap around us, even with spring approaching.
A Face Like Mine will be released on Friday, April 21st, 2017