Adam Douglas feels to be rather a Norwegian than a US artist nowadays. He is living in Hadeland North of Oslo and has released all solo music while living in Scandinavia. On 23rd April 2021, Better Angels has been his third solo studio album release. Here is my review.
Adam Douglas – About The Artist
Adam Douglas is a US artist from Oklahoma, which is living in Norway since 2007. He is regarded to be an excellent guitar player. His songs are a mixture of country, folk, pop and elements from other genres – my material classifies him as an alternative country artist. He debuted as a solo artist in 2013 when he released the EP Your One And Only Man and, later, the album I May Never Learn. He won the TV show Stjernekamp (“Battle Of the Stars”), which is very popular in Norway, in 2017. In this format, musicians of different genres compete against each other. In 2018, he released his second album The Beauty & The Brawn.
Adam Douglas – Better Angels – Track by Track
The twelve track album lasts 48 minutes.
1. Joyous We’ll Be
Joyous We’ll Be is not only my first getting-in-touch with the music of Adam Douglas – it is also one of the singles of the album. A very interesting song. There is a touch of country, but there is also a pop-ish rhythm and even the groove of gospel, especially when the song becomes more intense in the chorus. A very catchy melody to open Better Angels.
2. Into My Life
While listening to the second song of the album (another single release), I have to think about Andrew Roachford, one of the vocalists of Mike & the Mechanics nowadays. The song comes with a touch of soul. Like in the opening song, there is quite a wide orchestration with strings and brass. Impressive and a very good listen.
That’s when you come to me
Show me the side I’ve always needed to see
Believe we got the things that we need –
Step into my life
3. Build A Fire
It is very hard to list up all the influences and genres which I feel to explore in the songs Adam Douglas. The first three songs have a common sound, but they are neither boring nor easy to describe. Build A Fire with its high voice melody in the chorus and its present rhythm, which makes you feel like dancing, reminds me of funk music.
4. So Naive
Very keyboard-driven sound, a bit of dreamy, but also with a kind of nice groove. While I struggled to describe and define the sound of the first three songs, I see that the challenge is even getting harder. I just recommend you to listen to So Naive. The song is a bit slower, but has a very nice touch.
5. Change My Mind
‘Til somebody says, “I love you”
And the earth cracks where you’re standing
And you find all the answers
To the questions you’ve been asking
I don’t know if that exists for me
But I’ll keep looking ’til I find
Somebody to come and change my mind
The fifth song is also a slower one, a beautiful story which is driven by a lovely arrangement.
6. Where I Wanna Be (feat. Beady Belle)
For this sixth song, Adam Douglas is pairing up with the Norwegian electronic jazz band Beady Belle. A song, which touches another kind of composition of Americana sounds. Really good – and powerful.
7. Blue White Lie
Every joke’s got a stroke of truth
And no one’s laughing, but me and you
Holy smoke from our fire of youth
A blue white lie
I give up to really all the elements and genres I feel to explore in the individual songs. Lovely guitar play, great instrumentation, good lyrics and Douglas’ impressive vocals just give me a great musical experience again and again. So he does in seventh song again, Blue White Lie.
8. A Whistle To Blow
A Whistle To Blow incepts with powerful guitar riffs and thus introduces you to the powerful sound of the whole track. The song is likely the most rocking song of the album. A song for fans of rock, blues and country music – that’s already quite a range.
9. Both Ways
Both Ways has a bit of a synth rock sound, but also has a really nice groove. Interesting song, even though I can relate to other tracks of the album better.
10. Just A Friend
When I wake up I try to see
The little things that lie ahead of me
But lately I’ve been put on hold
These feelings gone too cold
I see in you what you can’t see
And all the things that we could be
But to you I am just a friend
And that’s all I’ve ever been
Every song in Better Angels feels to have its very own, individual sound. Just A Friend feels to be a great song for a concert at a large, historic-style theater stage. I love the piano parts and the magical spirit of Adam Douglas’ voice in here.
11. Lucky Charm
I awake to find
Still on my arm
And my restless mind
Is at ease
With my lucky charm
The album has a couple of slower songs at this stage – and Lucky Charm is one of them. Good listen, very intense song.
12. Dying Breed
With the very last song, Douglas does a track for classic country and bluegrass lovers. A very rhythmic and speedy farewell. Enjoy or just re-start listening from the very beginning of the album.
Adam Douglas – Better Angels – Spotify
Here is Better Angels on Spotify:
Adam Douglas – Better Angels – My View
While listening to the very first songs of Better Angels, I felt that amazed by the album. I have to say that I feel that the second half of the album feels a bit weaker, but overall, listening to these twelve songs is a great experience. An extremely versatile roots / Americana country sounds with countless influences by other genres. The album is fascinating, but never boring. A definite Top Pick!.
Norwegian Music on Flyctory.com
Flyctory.com in Stockholm
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