If we use the titles of Peter Bradley Adams' records as
an indicator, then we can safely perceive distinct phases of a
relationship since his disbanding of Eastmountainsouth,
or possibly about the "break-up" of that band. Adams'
first solo record was Gather Up, and spoke much about the
immediacy of coming to terms with the dissolution of a deeply
loving relationship. Leavetaking was more focused on the
actual act of leaving, the separation between hearts that occurs
during that same dissolution. Traces, the latest in the
story, is much more reflective, taking stock of things that happened
and motives that led to the ending of this relationship. As the
albums have progressed there has also been a distinctive turning
from a heavier - albeit still relatively light - sound, with drums
and bass, to a much sparser and more open signature, based almost
exclusively in acoustic guitars and the occasional string.
The record begins with the most upbeat of the tracks, the beautiful
and highly melodic "Family Name". This is the track that
most readily fits into Adams' previous catalog, with a swaying rhythm
and a slowly building dynamic that peaks and falls more in feeling
than in sound. The melancholy "For You" begins the true
heart of the record, with its magnificently finger-picked guitars
and light acoustic strums, and Adams' voice sweetly crooning, "If
your lover ever leaves you and you find yourself with no one left
to lose/you don't have to be alone, take the road that leads you
home/ and I'll be waiting there for you." The dark introspection
flows on tracks like "I Cannot Settle Down", a softly
picked track that questions life, memories, and motives for living.
This track digs deep into the heart of a man and finds restlessness,
joy, and pain
all in the hopes of finding some semblance of
peace. Gentle piano carries "From The Sky" along its beautiful
plodding, searching for ways to soothe the ache and re-live the
splendor of love. "Something 'Bout You Lately" relives
memories and seeks answers to the universal human questions of regret
and desire and loss. The drums make another appearance hear. Softly
moving the pace of the track along in a warm shuffle as Adams' voice
takes on a somber and gritty tone that enhances the magnificence
of the track.
Peter Bradley Adams began a journey of discovery and life-story
telling with his amazing Eastmountainsouth project and has continued
the trip on his solo outings. Traces is packed with deeply
heartfelt and introspective songs that relax the spirit while
questioning life and all of its devices as they relate to interpersonal
relationships. It is a deep record and one that is imbued with
healing powers, calming and spiritually balming. These songs are
beauty in one of its most simple and perfect forms.
Check out more
Like this article?
e-mail it to