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Oedipus Schmoedipus

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Oedipus Schmoedipus

Artist: Barry Adamson

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Label: Mute
Album: Oedipus Schmoedipus
# Song Title   Time
1)    Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Pelvis
2)    Something Wicked This Way Comes
3)    Vibes Ain't Nothin' But The Vibes
4)    It's Business As Usual
5)    Miles
6)    Dirty Barry
7)    In A Moment Of Clarity
8)    Achieved In The Valley Of The Dolls
9)    Vermillion Kisses
10)    Big Bamboozle
11)    State Of Contraction
12)    Sweetest Embrace
13)    Set The Controls Again

Performer Notes
  • Personnel includes: Jarvis Cocker, Nick Cave, Billy MacKenzie (vocals).
  • After some releases with more of a beat-heavy pop feel, Adamson moves back -- sort of -- into the land of noirish soundtrack. Unlike Moss Side Story, it's not really a soundtrack with repeated themes and motifs. A lot of pieces establish soundtrack-like moods, but the flow never builds up momentum of its own. As individual soundscapes, though, the tracks (largely instrumental) are reasonably impressive, whether it's burlesque-type fare, a takeoff on Miles Davis, or lounge jazz. If noir is what you want, "It's Business as Usual" is especially creepy, with its neurotic answering machine messages nearly buried under waves of disquieting sounds; achieving a similar effect; in an entirely different manner, is "Vermillion Kisses," a fairytale narrative with a morbid ending. Nick Cave adds a guest vocal to (and co-writes) "The Sweetest Embrace"; Pulp's Jarvis Cocker can be heard (and co-writes) another cut. Adamson's skill in layering and devising unusual sound textures still qualifies him as one of experimental rock's more imaginative composers and producers. But on the more rock-oriented pieces, he's using too many of those damn beat boxes for his own good. ~ Richie Unterberger

Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (10/31/96, p.70) - 3 Stars (out of 5) - "...Barry Adamson creates soundtracks for his own drama-filled dream world, one in which the film composers Elmer Bernstein and John Barry are patron saints, darkened streets are always slick with rain, men are men, and women are molls..."

Q (9/96, p.107) - 4 Stars (out of 5) - "...shifts wildly between extreme genres. Everything from languid hip hop and avant sample collages through to atmospherically charged Badalamenti-like cocktail jazz is explored here with...claustrophobic obsessiveness..."

Alternative Press (12/96, p.68) - 4 (out of 5) - "...Embracing nourish jazz, film-score instrumentals and the rhythms of hip hop and rock, OEDIPUS SCHMOEDIPUS is a kaleidoscopic hotbed of neuroses, stained sheets and the fairy-tale double-cross..."

Option (11-12/96, p.90) - "...combines lounge jazz, spoken word, sampling and storytelling into something messy, compelling and ultimately undefinable. Equal parts instrumental set piece and some sort of bizarre, vaguely Germanic cabaret..."

Melody Maker (12/21-28/96, pp.66-67) - Ranked #33 on Melody Maker's list of 1996's `Albums Of The Year.'

Melody Maker (7/27/96, p.47) - Bloody Essential - "...arguably the best yet, honing Adamson's finely tuned senses of humour, suspense and horror to their keenest edges, fusing slinky jazz, deft hip hop beats, atonal soundscapes and fully blown gospel for one roller coaster ride through this man's psyche..."

Musician (12/96, pp.92-93) - "...Ex-Bad Seed Adamson saddles R&B atmospheres and melancholy jazz forays upside ominous orchestrations and enigmatic spoken word....he draws from a well of uneasy listening....Adamson works this magic with rapt instrumental detail and seamless production."

NME (Magazine) (7/27/96, p.50) - 7 (out of 10) - "...a sort-of-concept album about `suppressed desire, repulsion and yearning'.....moody, mainly instrumental and never afraid to do the dance of the mad doodle with a glockenspiel..."

Format:CD (0 Disc)
Studio/Live: Studio
Release Date:2 July, 1996
Guest Artist: Jarvis Cocker; Nick Cave; Billy MacKenzie

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