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Adam Cross

Sirens

Review by Gary Hill

Adam Cross’ music occupies a space somewhere around the three way intersection of pop, rock and AOR. It’s always well written and performed. It’s seldom extremely unique or original. In other words, it’s like eating comfort foods at your mother’s house, it’s delicious and fits the bill, but it’s never surprising. You really know what you are going to get because it’s predictable. Predictable isn’t a bad thing in music. The pop charts are always filled with songs that have that sort of predictable familiarity. However, when it comes to real innovation, playing it safe is what makes an artist stand out from the crowd. With Sirens Cross shows he has what it takes to create an effective pop disc. Hopefully in future outings he’ll show that he can also pull a trick or two out of his sleeve. Either way this is a satisfying listening experience.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Dance

Percussion opens this, then a rock styled arrangement that feels, musically, a bit like U2 enters. The vocals come in with a real soulful sound on top of that. This is really a great combination of a pop sound with a rocking one.

A Feeling
This one is more ballad-like. It falls more into the pop side of the equation, but overall the same musical concepts as on the previous number are found here. There’s a tasty AOR instrumental section later.
Scared to Pieces
There’s a definite indie rock goes pop sound here. U2 is again a valid reference point.
Save Me
Built in a soulful pop ballad style, this cut is good, but a bit too modern pop sounding for my tastes.
Time of Our Lives
It would be the easy route to lump this cut in with the last one. The truth is, though, there is a cool hook and charm to the vocal arrangement here and an intriguing rhythm that makes this one superior.
Thursday
The pop sounds here have a bit of a rock edge, but overall this ballad-like number feels a bit too generic to work extremely well. Still, it’s catchy and performed well. It just seems like something we’ve all heard too many times.
Burning Castles
Now, this is more like it. While it’s still got a lot of pop built into it there’s a killer rocking energy and charm to this. It’s soulful and balances between mellower and harder rocking section in a great way. It’s arguably the best cut on show here.
Time Wasted
A modern sounding pop rock ballad, the vocal arrangement here really sells it. It’s a great tune.
Tragedy
This piece is similar in style to the last one, but a bit more contemplative. The hints of U2 are back in spades.
Lost
Here we get another melodic and rather mellow modern pop rock tune. It’s a good piece, it’s just a little too formulaic and by this point the monolithic nature of the set is starting to weigh a little heavily. There is some tasty melodic guitar soloing on the number.
 
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