Calling Adam doesn’t dillydally in the first track of his new album The Year of My Manifestation, “In the Game We All Lose,” when it comes to dishing out some of the biggest harmonies around – inside of this track’s opening sixty seconds, we’re wrapped in the warmth of a gilded organ’s melody and led down a highway of rhythm and blues into a chorus as soft as silk but formidable enough to hold our attention until “Sunday in the Morning Sun” starts to play. In this song, as well as the ensuing “Amy” and “Give It to Me,” Calling Adam’s real stylistic prerogative begins to present itself to us in full-color audio, and the grooves of a contemporary alternative folk composer wash over us in even synchronicity. Though mostly guitar-powered, these three tracks are undeniably boasting some of the sweetest vocal work I’ve heard this singer/songwriter commit to master tape, but for as intriguing as this introductory foursome is, it’s accompanied by an additional set of songs that are arguably just as endearing and hard to get out of your head.
“Distinguish Yourself Through Clouds of Smoke” takes us in a different direction than the quartet of tracks that precede it, opening up the door to a surrealism-inspired approach to melodic songcraft that will reprise itself later – in minimalist fashion – in the acoustic-accented “Come on Home.” “Come on Home” follows our first look at “Boston Song,” which receives a remixing towards the end of the album that makes slightly better use of its ripping classic rock riffage, and though it’s not quite as anthemic a tune as “Once in a Lifetime” is, there aren’t many compositions under Calling Adam’s belt that could be. This track is easily one of the more robust examples of its creator’s multi-angled take on melding folk-rock aesthetics with sly pop hooks, but I don’t know that I would call it the most elaborate number here at all. For the most part, The Year of My Manifestation is a well-balanced effort that doesn’t take too many risks that would alienate it from mainstream consumption, but in the big picture, to describe it as being a stab at acceptance from the pop establishment would be entirely untrue.
“You Will Always Be in My Memory” strips away the frills and piles on the vocal luster as high as we can handle it, but beside the mind-bending instrumental “Love Is True,” it feels like just a taste of what Calling Adam can accomplish when there’s nothing to come between his creative ideals and the audience he so passionately seeks to share them with. Reworked versions of “Boston Song” and “Love Is True” bring The Year of My Manifestation to a conclusion, and though I don’t always like it when artists tack remixes onto the end of a record, these two tracks show off the versatility of their composer too excellently to have left them out. In a nutshell, if there’s one thing that Calling Adam makes more than obvious to listeners in this record, it’s that he’s setting out to carve his own legacy in alternative music, which, as I see things, deserves a resounding round of applause all on its own.
Donate to IndiePulse Music Magazine’s Academic and Music Education Scholarship Program HeartBeat4Kids
IndiePulse Music Magazine creates Scholarships to help Youth In Need of assistance to complete their educational goals and stay in school.