Adam Wilson- West Coast Elegy

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Monday, September 20, 2010

Singer/songwriter Adam Wilson started off in bands such as Aerial Stares and Aftershave before heading off on his own to start a solo career. Based out of London, Wilson writes music that is a cross between folk and alt-country and his second album West Coast Elegy is being released this month on Zube Records. While there is certainly potential for him to generate a fan base, Wilson doesn’t quite have the staying power needed to become a household name and still has a little ways to go.

The material on West Coast Elegy is often acoustic, which gives the guitar work plenty of time to take the spotlight. There are a number of tracks where this works quite well, especially when the melodies take on a bit of a country twang and it is during these moments that Adam Wilson really seems to be in his element as he has written some gripping tunes. However, there a few too many times where the guitar arrangements are pushed off into the background by the vocals and end up sounding too similar to one another. Because of this, much of the album just kind of floats by and while it is enjoyable to listen to not enough of the songs will make you remember the effort for months to come.

Wilson’s voice isn’t able to reach the widest range of pitches, but he works quite well with what he has and offers mellow, laid back singing for much of West Coast Elegy. His vocals do have this folk/country twang to them which ensures that his music will appeal to a fairly broad range of listeners, and he manages to maintain an impressive level of energy throughout the album. However, as I mentioned earlier this is also one of the downsides as the vocals occasionally overpower the instrumentals and take away from the ability of some of the songs to stand out and really grab listeners. But this is certainly something that can be fixed down the road, and it is nice to see that Wilson has a solid base to work off of.

Adam Wilson is a good but not great singer/songwriter who has two solid albums under his belt but hasn’t put out one that will really blow people away just yet. He has some decent ideas though, and if he can ensure that the instrumentals always stay fresh and have more hooks than before Wilson will definitely go far. But for now he hasn’t reached that point and is a promising artist that isn’t quite as memorable as he could be.

Full Disclosure: Review copy provided by Manilla PR

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