How you receive this album will depend a lot on what you're looking for from Adam Ant in 2013. If you're looking for a return to the swashbuckling romance of pirates and princes then you're going to be disappointed because 'Adam Ant Is The Blueback Hussar in Marrying The Gunner's Daughter' isn't that album, and although it does reference those periods in places, the closest Ants album to this is 'Dirk Wears White Sox'. Instead you're in for a vast seventeen-track exploration of the themes and issues that fall under Adam Ant's microscope in 2013, a mere eighteen years after his last studio outing - 1995's underrated 'Wonderful' - and what the album perhaps lacks in production values it more than makes up with passion.
'Blueback Hussar', to shorten its remarkable title, is a mix and match of a record. It's slightly chaotic and at times the tracks feel unfinished, and it's probably about five tracks too long but the standout tracks do show evidence of the brilliance that made Adam Ant such an unstoppable force at his commercial peak. 'Shrink' is one of those standouts, 'Vince Taylor' another, both of which sit alongside the understated blues of 'Cool Zombie', the first single to be taken from the album, and the downbeat 'Valentine's' as the cornerstones of the record.
That Adam Ant is still making music at all is testament to his resilience in the face of great odds, but the fact that his comeback is done the hard way, with what feels like genuine passion and enthusiasm, when he could have simply chosen to tread water and return to old formulas for easier returns is testament to the man's genuine artistry.
'Adam Ant Is The Blueback Hussar in Marrying The Gunner's Daughter' won't be for everyone and may not even be an album that stands repeated listenings but I, for one, am delighted he's back…
Cool Zombie / Stay In The Game / Marrying The Gunner's Daughter / Vince Taylor / Valentine's / Darlin' Boy / Dirty Beast / Punkyoungirl / Sausage / Cradle Your Hatred / Hardmentoughblokes / Shrink / Vivienne's Tears / Who's A Goofy Bunny? / How Can I Say I Miss You? / Bullshit / How Can I Say I Miss You? (Reprise)
'Adam Ant Is The Blueback Hussar in Marrying The Gunner's Daughter' was released on January 21st 2013 on CD, vinyl and via download.
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