Adem

Love and Other Planets (Domino)

Adem The Grog Shop Friday, October 13
Like approximately seven-eighths of the world's breathing singer-songwriters, Adem Ilhan waxes sad and poetic about love and loss, supported by a quotidian chord catalog. Ilhan -- teenage collaborator with Kieran "Four Tet" Hebden in the overlooked electri-post-rocker Fridge -- spent his first two solo records poring over promises and relational difficulties. Love and Other Planets raises the bar, broadly casting amore as the divination of our earth, an internal and intrinsically graceful cosmology capable of saving us all from ourselves and one another: On "These Lights Are Meaningful," Adem sings, "Maybe I got it wrong/Maybe I am just alone . . . Take my hand and take me home/Make me feel like I'm not alone." While it's an obvious riff on "love conquers all," Adem transcends the banal with his arrangements. From Reich-inspired counterpoint to Nick Drake chord swells, he dresses everything in ostentatious though sympathetic colors. But he seems to reach for great magnitude every three tracks, and errant pacing sets up climactic moments that never arrive. Still, it's absolutely lovely.
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