Adam Bricks Breaks The Mold On New Album
Elliott Smith once lamented on being tagged as a singer songwriter that, “it has this connotation of being super sentimental, really kind of manipulative lyrically, as if the person singing is trying to get everybody to feel just like them.” However, for the road weary sounding Adam Bricks, that’s certainly not the case. More of a storyteller, Bricks has always felt like he’s just trying to find the best way to get the point across. On his new album, Relations, he not only appears to have found the best way to convey his tales, he does so in a way that finds the singer songwriter at the top of his game. In eleven tracks, he takes the listener on a journey that brings you into his world while he echoes the styles of heavy hitters like Paul Simon and Bob Dylan on each beautifully composed song.
Bricks’ wastes no time in bringing you into the fold on the opener, “Something Real,” where the hook filled notes of his guitar alongside multiple instrumentation is only improved by Bricks’ vocals. The way in which he finds a way to almost croon with such an emotionally strong depth in his dissonant range, where his words are more powerful than the genre tends to lend today. This carries on with the reverb soaked second song, “When You Smile.” While the tremolo and reverb culminate on the guitar, Bricks’ sings a dual vocal track that has you right there with him in his plight. By the upbeat feel of the third track, “The Only One,” you should have realized that Bricks’ is more than just a singer songwriter, but perhaps closer to a songsmith who can tear away layers of emotions with a full band or all by himself. The song reminds me of latter day works from George Harrison with the intensity of an early Tom Petty tune. The advantage to what transpires on the song, is that it immediately showcases the depth to Adam Bricks’ as a songwriter and as a performer as well.
He follows this with a softer track on, “I Don’t Wanna’ Hold Your Hand,” while the lyrics are nothing close to soft. While he stays a little soft on the fifth song, “One Time Lover,” that softer side gets additional pieces to the puzzle he’s crafting. Before you know it, a full band comes in and the song quickly transforms into something larger than how it began. On the sixth song however, “If You Go Away,” Bricks’ really shines. The song mixes his heavy handed vocals with a double backing vocal where he stretches his voice into an emotionally charged sound. The addition of piano that dances beneath his voice as he almosts asks for forgiveness for his emotional state. It adds a nice and beautiful side to the album that excels in its approach and execution. Following this, Bricks takes a different direction with a driving drum beat and a riff heavy guitar on “Sad Song.” Though he adds a sweetly voiced vocal harmony, the song has this Big Star feel where it’s almost as grand as it could be while never really hitting a peak to the buildup and tension that’s created. A couple of tracks later, Bricks goes in a more solo direction where he really shines again with “Apt. 2.” While there’s pedal steel, drums, and piano alongside the guitar and vocals he lays down, you still get the feeling that Bricks’ is almost alone as his voice creates its own path, and you fall for his story no matter what he’s trying to sell to you.
Though he drops the slowest song of the album before he brings things to an end, it’s the grand and epic nature of the final track, “Just Like Mine” where Bricks takes things one step further. The large guitars he employs, the multiple vocal tracks, and the notes at one level in the chorus are simply stunning. While his lone voice that sits a top softly placed guitar tracks, Bricks gives you one last masterfully crafted tune to close things out. Possibly the biggest standout of the entire album, you realize that the fact that this album took a good while to complete, that it was worth the wait. Adam Bricks breaks the singer songwriter mold in crafting an album that feels like so much more, than someone trying to make you feel what they’re feeling. You can get your own physical copy of Relations when Bricks performs at his album release party tomorrow, April 29th at Continental Club. The 21 and up show has doors at 9 pm, and alongside sets from Buxton and Tapajenga, not to mention that your $10 cover also gets you Bricks’ new album ahead of it’s May 6 release date.