My biggest concern about the band Adam Again
is people discovering them too late. Trying to find any of their albums is surely a feat! Those who bought Adam Again's projects before they went out of print (which usually happened fairly quickly), hold on to them because, like fellow Californians Daniel Amos
, they're a topnotch band that simply never seemed to get the fame or adulation they deserved. The collaboration of Gene Eugene
's pensive lyrics and mellow vocals, Riki Michele
's support vocals, Greg Lawless
's unique guitar style, Jon Knox
' drumming, and Paul Valadez
' bass playing yields funky, groove-laden rock, making Adam Again a peerless band. It was with great joy, then, that I heard of Worldwide Favorites, a "greatest-of" Adam Again package.
While Adam Again's releases are filled with deep material, Ten Songs, In A New World Of Time, and Homeboys definitely boast rarer gems. Thus, the fact that there are 5 tracks from Perfecta, four from Dig, Homeboys gets three, two from Ten Songs, and only one from In A New World is curious. This is an inverted pyramid, which left me wanting more of the early material.
Fortunately, the absolutely crucial Adam Again songs are here: "The Tenth Song" (one of the prettiest and most haunting songs that Adam Again recorded) ,"Worldwide," "River On Fire," and "Perfecta." And, the new track, "Sleepwalk," is quite good. Still, I just can't help wondering why such tracks as "Angels We Have Heard On High," from the underrated Broken Christmas album, "Harsh," from Perfecta, "Hopeless, Etc." from Dig, and other such tracks were overlooked in favor of tunes like "Strobe." I guess my favorites aren't necessarily the "Worldwide Favorites!"
Having questioned the song choices, let me state that there isn't a bad track on the album. As always, the lyrics are insightful, exploring terrain that's often unexplored. And on the whole, as on Adam Again's albums, the music is good. It's of a funky strain that only this group ever seems to fully exploit. Accordingly, Worldwide Favorites has a flow that is rarely found on these sort of compilations.
Consequently, until Guadaloupe surfaces at long last, Homeboys, Ten Songs, and In A New World Of Time are re-released, Worldwide Favorites will have to satisfy the many longtime Adam Again fans. Along the way, it may even win them a few new ones. If you are interested in music that deals with the heart of mankind, or if you like bands that value honesty, both musically and lyrically, more than marketability, seek out Adam Again--you will be glad you did.
1999 Worldwide Favourites: Selected Songs Of The Adam Again Era
1988 Ten Songs By Adam Again
1986 In A New World Of Time