Adam Norsworthy is nothing, if not prolific. He is a member of the Mustangs, also a member of The Milk Men and releases solo albums as well. The Milk Men released their fourth album last year to great applause and his solo album ‘Infinite Hotel’ – also his fourth – created a great stir. Both albums got a solid **** review here with ‘Infinite Hotel’ bordering on a 5/5.
‘Infinite Hotel’ featured a host of guest stars, but Norsworthy has taken a very different approach to ‘Talking Pictures’. “It was an honour to have such great players join me”, reflects Adam. “However I also love albums like Paul McCartney’s homegrown records, where he plays all the instruments. I think that adds to the intimacy and DIY feel of a record, and I feel I’ve captured that with Talking Pictures.” And he certainly has captured a very intimate and personal feel to this album. Not that it is shorn of some sumptuous production on tracks such as ‘A New York Song’ with delicious strings behind a close miked vocal and simple melody. There is a country feel to a few of the tracks – it is very much in singer/songwriter territory – but there is nothing here that feels ‘generic’, rather every track has the feel of something close to his heart.
The range is broad, taking in observations on subjects such as ageing, parenthood, progress and heartfelt pieces about his parents who passed within a short four months of each other during Lockdown. I particularly enjoyed ‘Radio Nights’ ( the second single from the album) which is a fond look back at the days of Radio Caroline and the pirate stations - “Most radio is so formulaic these days,” says Adam. “I remember fiddling with my radio dial for ages trying to tune in to Radio Caroline when I was younger, and when I found it I heard music never heard on mainstream radio! It seems to me the station is a great symbol of a more interesting and risk-taking musical era”. ‘Cleopatra’s Lies’ has the feel of a Glenn Campbell number, beautifully describing the scene between Cleopatra and Julius Caesar while my favourite on the album is ‘Harpersferry’, which looks at the relationship between father and son.
It is a delightful collection, produced by Norsworthy and mixed & mastered by Wayne Proctor of House Of Tone. Norsworthy is a genuinely talented musician, capable of creating deeply emotive songs as well as huge productions and this album is a great one to kick off the year.