Will Adams is one of the best musicians and songwriters out there right now. I’ve thought this since I first heard his work two years ago, and this latest album brings me to believe it even more so. At the same time, he’s one of the least visible artists in the online world – he doesn’t fight for attention with his music, nor does he overload his fans with photos and fragments of his life, he just makes the music his heart needs to make. It’s beautiful to listen to, and Good News is yet again a stunning collection of songs.
Magic Garden begins the project, Adams’ softly whispers a captivating, poetic story-line, laying out crystal clear imagery alongside of some emotional and expressive acoustic guitar picking. The song leans back and forth between the objective or observational, and that which is deeply personal and reflective of intimate experiences or one’s role in life. The final moments bring the latter home quite intensely, relating to life and the passing of time in a manner that stops you in your tracks a little.
Elsewhere on the album, the expressive and creative nature of Adams’ musicality pours through in subtle but certain ways. The meeting between the guitar and vocal notes, for example, on Where The Wind Will Blow, adds a lot to the underlying feel of the piece and helps make it one of the more memorable songs of the project. Tracks like She’s Partial To Fruity Drinks and We’ve Been Conned take a more literal and descriptive stance, still the story-telling holds tight to your attention, and in addition there’s an element of simple appreciation and awareness.
Bread Pudding is a cleverly thoughtful song that again fuses the metaphorical, reflective, and literal – telling stories from the past and considering the future at the same time. A personal favourite, it makes you appreciate the little things, reminding you that one day they’ll be gone. Prayer For a Homeless Man follows and hits hard, another highlight – the melody develops beautifully, short lines move up and then down, creating a roller-coaster-like journey that reflects the character and ideas within in a poignant way.
Prayer For Frey is another that hits with impact, though it takes its time to do so. As the story emerges, talk of the ghost of the boy, the lost soul in the night, starts to really reach out – cleverly connected to a rising melody… make us a toast, to the young lad’s ghost – he’s walking in the dark, he’s running in the park; you can see his sparks. The lyrics throughout this song, and honestly – throughout this entire album – are so powerful, and so beautifully presented.
A Glorious Gift brings the album to a close with some of the most poetic meetings between simple imagery and considerate depth. Melodically there’s a sense of optimism to this one, it makes for a hopeful, even joyful way to finish – the lyrics aren’t completely joyful in themselves, but they seem to indicate a sense of acceptance of the way things are. Again, it strangely prompts you to appreciate the world, and to steer away from negativity when possible.
It’s no easy feat for an artist to simply sit with an acoustic guitar and captivate an audience with his words and melodies. The artistry of the complete experience has to be something very real and accessible, as well as somehow unique, in order to feel special. Will Adams seems to achieve this every time though. This album is one that calms you down to the point of deep thought and genuine self awareness. A live performance is a must for those who stumble upon the opportunity.