The Bads: So Alive (Mana/Warners)

 |   |  <1 min read

The Bads: Baby Come Home
The Bads: So Alive (Mana/Warners)

At the tail end of their emotionally probing Say Your Goodbyes here Dianne Swann and Brett Adams sing "see how much we've grown", a line that might be autobiographical about this duo which has confidently moved past rock to a place in country-framed singer-songwriter territory, while keeping one ear on a pop hook and arrangment.

So Alive bristles with fine songs by the Swann-Adams team -- although a standout is Adams' time in the spotlight on his Drop in the Ocean -- and on material like the edgy Gracious or, at the other end of their spectrum, the atmospheric Demons (with a chiming guitar which evokes some film-noir setting) this is extremely impressive.

Swann can deliver an intelligent, aching ballad with conviction (the loving Baby Come Home, the empathy of Floodgates) but most attention here will be on the country-touched songs like the title track (which was apparently used in the tele-series Hunger for the Wild, I'm glad that hasn't spoiled its echo-jangle for me), the chug'n'strum of Helensville and the pop-flavoured Say Your Goodbyes. And the throbbing First Night Without You.

In this New Zealand Music Month there are a lot of albums which broadcast on a narrow emotional/songwriting frequency, but the Bads -- with the kind of musical maturity which only comes from years accrued -- have a sense of diversity and dynamics which is very appealing indeed.

See how much they've grown?

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Fink: Hardbeliever (Ninja Tunes)

Fink: Hardbeliever (Ninja Tunes)

The first and only time Fink (known as Fin Greenall to his family) has appeared at Elsewhere was with his debut album Biscuits for Breakfast and although his career gone extremely well for this... > Read more

Randy Newman: Bad Love (Warners)

Randy Newman: Bad Love (Warners)

Never having subscribed to the theory Newman is an unalloyed genius means always having to say you are sorry. But if you, too, are of that persuasion, here's the album to tune in for. After... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Stevie Wonder: The Wonder of You

Stevie Wonder: The Wonder of You

The curious thing about going to meet famous people is sometimes you don't recognise them and end up sitting in the bar or cafe counting the ceiling fans until you realise your prey is that little... > Read more

COLIN LINWOOD INTERVIEWED (2014): Keeping the records straight

COLIN LINWOOD INTERVIEWED (2014): Keeping the records straight

The most extraordinary thing about the extraordinary Colin Linwood is just how ordinary he is. In his early 50s, he's married with children, has worked from the time he left school, is trim and in... > Read more