This is an album that took a long time to review. Like the album cover, full of galaxies and nebulae, Adrian Bourgeois’s new album, Pop/Art, is a big concept. Really big. In the 24 songs, Adrian’s laid it all on the line. And in the end, after the last note echoes into the distance, that’s a good thing. It’s a bit messy, full of beautiful lyrics, catchy melodies and great production, and it’s well worth a listen.
There are a lot of ideas and tones dancing through this album – catchy love songs reminiscent of the Beatles (‘Everybody Knows It Was Me’), aching ballads (‘Don’t Look Away’), songs full of angst-filled questions about the purpose of life and being lost and found (‘Waterfalls,’ ‘The Lost and The Free’). Some of them resonate stronger than others, but the more you listen, the more you realize every song is a piece of the tapestry that is Adrian Bourgeois. Almost every song has a different style to it, and each track is fully produced, from the western ‘Waterfalls’ complete with wailing harmonica solo and bouncing piano to heavy rock anthem “The Lost and The Free,” which has a taste of both The Killers and Bruce Springsteen.
Immediately, the lyrics stand out as the strong point of the album. Adrian has a spectacular way with words; he paints a picture clearly and knows how to hit the heart at just the right moment. Some of the best moments of the album come when he turns a common phrase unexpectedly into a piece of poetry:
She makes him laugh and he laughs like a child
Who would’ve thought laughter could grow in the wild
You’re only as strong as what your hands can hold,
And what your hands can’t hold,
You can’t claim as yours
(As Your Hands Can Hold)
This isn’t an album for all audiences. This isn’t trying to be. Adrian is putting everything out there, and it’s raw, personal, multi-faceted and sometimes messy and sometimes beautiful – hey! Like life! But for those that want to listen to a good story of epic proportions, told by a poet whose skills will only get sharper, this is the album for you. There’s no better karma then supporting an emerging artist. Also – it’s only $15 for all 24 tracks!
Favorites: Waterfalls, Don’t Look Away, As Your Hands Can Hold, My Sweet Enemy, The Howling Wind