Vacation Man

Adrian Knight

Galtta Records, 2020

http://galttamedia.bandcamp.com/album/vacation-man

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/15/2020

The experimental and always atypical Adrian Knight sure is a prolific artist. In addition to being involved with outfits like Blue Jazz TV, Synthetic Love Dream, and Private Elevators, the multi-instrumentalist has now released six solo albums.

His fifth outing Vacation Man my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 has Knight playing the bulk of the instruments, though he's got some fine help to flesh out his inimitable hi-fi pop tunes that never follow predictable patterns. And much like his entire catalog, this one's limited (just 125 copies) and available physically only on a cassette.

After the brief and ambient opener “Launch Time” unfolds with its slightly ominous quality and “Vacation Man” enters with synth-fueled soulfulness as Knight's glassy smooth vocals suit the retro fun.

Side A finishes with the nostalgic nods of the shimmering “Solitary Way,” as well as the '70s influence of the gliding and agile “Too Late.” “Looking For My Love” then swaggers with plenty of body shaking grooves.

Side B doesn't stray too far from the formula, with the blurry intro of “Suit Up” that moves into the quick paced and spacey synth of the psychedelic tinted “Back Up To The Playpen.

Some of the best tracks reside deep into the listen, including the dual gender vocals of “Waiting To See,” while the summery pop fun of “Anna Marie” radiates glowing energy and just begs to be played with the windows rolled down. “Radiogram” exits the listen light and airy, with a haze of syrupy pop sweetness.

Knight sure knows how to pen a surreal, imaginative listen that's layered playfully and resonates with warmth. His esteemed help from Alice Cohen on backing vocals, Mike Advensky behind the drum kit, sax and flute from David Lackner, and an appearance from Nick Stevens on trombone help solidify Vacation Man as pure pop genius that's ideal for the outsider pop crowd who appreciates eccentric ideas.

Rating: A-

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