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Adrian Crowley - Long Distance Swimmer

  by Benjamin Howarth

published: 28 / 1 / 2008

Adrian Crowley - Long Distance Swimmer
Label: Tin Angel Records
Format: CD


Attention-grabbing largely acoustic fourth album from Irish-based singer-songwriter, Adrian Crowley

‘Long Distance Swimmer’, the fourth album of singer-songwriter Adrian Crowley, begins with a lightly plucked acoustic guitar, before a low voice not entirely dissimilar to that of Coldplay’s Chris Martin sings a gentle melody over the top. After two minutes, strings kick in briefly, before the song comes to an abrupt halt. Although fundamentally similar to the approach taken by most other singer-songwriters, this opening salvo has enough to capture my attention, which is held for the rest of this enjoyable twelve-track disk. Later tracks occasionally move to a higher tempo and often return to vague, nautical themes that clearly inspired the album’s title. He occasionally switches to an electric guitar, but still only gives it a light strum, and is generally assisted by some inventive assistants, providing strings, horns and such like. A particularly impressive moment comes with a violin solo at the end of the excellent ‘Walk On Part’. The vast majority of people who have trials at professional football clubs, audition for the X-factor, apply for the civil service fast stream or stand for parliament have virtually no chance of success. But even these groups probably have more chance of poking their heads above water than an aspiring singer-songwriter. Even in January, when the music business essentially winds down its activities and waits for the Brit awards to come around, Mr Crowley has competed for attention with new albums from singer-songwriters Bonnie Prince Billy, Lupen Crook, Matt Costa, Chris Bathgate, Lightspeed Champion, John Power, Joe Purdy, Johnny Daukes and Will Tang. Then there is a live album from Damien Rice and two compilations from the one-man band Eels. All these are essentially aiming at the same target market. Most of these albums probably have something to recommend them, or else they would surely not even have got a label’s attention - but nobody is going to want all of them. But should ‘Long Distance Swimmer’ get your vote from this crowded market, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

Track Listing:-
1 Bless Our Tiny Hearts
2 These Icey Waters
3 Star of the Harbour
4 Temporary Residence
5 Walk on Part
6 Victoria
7 Harmony Row
8 Theft by Starlight
9 Electric Eels
10 Leaving the Party
11 Brother at Sea
12 Long Distance Swimmer

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