Picture this: an old cafe, the seats at the booths are comfortably worn and there's a hint of smoke in the air. The lights are dim and no one will care if you make a fool of yourself and dance to the music that is emanating from the group onstage. The music slides into your bones, wrapping you up and whispering to you. Now imagine that all on a CD: For Adeline by Adrianne.
The music lies somewhere between folk and jazz. In any case it is music that flows and seeps into you. The music is good and simple. It rolls around in the background, you cannot hold it in your hand, but if you sit back it is quite a thing to enjoy. It blends quite well with the smokiness in Adrianne's voice.
The musicians who add their bit to the magic are Eric Holden (bass), Jonathan Gorman (drums, percussion and background vocals), John Paul (wurlitzer), Titus Vollmer (mandolin, electric guitar, dobro and slide guitar), Joe Ross (piano, hammond organ, keys, background vocals, wurlitzer and MIDI programming), Dan Sumber (electric guitar and background vocals), Albert Leusink (trumpet and flugel horn), Holbrook Gracia (background vocals and electric guitar), Edward Perez (upright bass and bass fiddle), Ian Martin (bass), Megan Toohey (electric guitar) and Bob Horn (bass). Also joining in occasionally to add background vocals are Robin McElhatten, Kristin Cafelli, Anthony Matusik, Rosie Cohen and Greg McMullan. Adrianne also plays the acoustic guitar on all but one of the songs.
The CD starts off with "Adeline," a confusing love song or a confused song about love. There is a loneliness to the song, which is fleshed out by the music and Adrianne's voice. "Still Wish You'd Come Around" is another sad love song. This time from the point of view of someone who had a chance once and will not have a second. Thirdly comes "Marie," the words of someone who was taken from her lover and finds the strength to take her victories where she can. As the song progresses there is a building of strength in the sound.
"New Kind of Cool" is the voice of child on the outside, who wants but one person to stand with her. The next song returns us to love or desire, "Destiny" is the pain filled words of a lover who has been replaced by another. Well, maybe not a lover, but someone who ws replaced by another in any case. "Not Me" is the heartfelt words of one who does not trust in love.
Then we come to a dark ballad in the form of "Scriptures"; there is an edge to the music that is hard to explain. The simplest way to describe the music is to call it jagged folk. The mood switches for the jazzy "Smiling Still Frame," where someone looking back sees what was not seen before. The thought that memory captures the words that were never said and shows them to us later.
"1492" is an up-tempo song is another of those confusing songs, a poem I don't quite understand. But the song pulls you in, even if it does not explain itself. The next song is "Say em Strong," a song that tells part of the story of someone's life and is her call to us to say some words strong. The last song is a hidden track and it fits well with the mood of the CD.
While it might seem that For Adeline would seem dark, it does not. There is too much beauty in the music and too much truth in the lyrics. It is also comes more from the side of people sharing where they are and have been as opposed to a sense of woe and gnashing of teeth. For Adeline is well worth the listen, take the time to listen to it some evening and let the night wind carry the songs to you.