ADAM AGAIN - DIG (*NEW-CD, 1992, BAI)
Brainstorm Artists International – 7100523672
ABOUT THE ALBUM
Gene Eugene's band Adam Again put out some funky groove rock. They never had a huge following, loyal though the few fans were. Eugene probably became better known through his production credits on a lot of other folk's albums and as one of the founding members of The Lost Dogs. Too bad because this CD of theirs deserved mainstream North American and European attention. With "Dig" they hit one out of the park, people!
"Deep" ~ Kicking off the album with a groove-hop-bop of grinding guitars and playful keys and deep sliding bass lines Eugene sings in cryptic lyrics decrying the corrosiveness of humanity, especially of a corrupted religious facade, and admits that he doesn't/ does want to go beyond to the "lover of the tired and cold...dying on the cross for the sick and the lost is the lover that I long to know".
"It Is What It Is (What It Is)" ~ Plumbing a big, deep early 1970's funk groove Eugene turns his attention to consumerism/ sloganeering and philosophy/ materialism. Guess what he thinks of them?
"Dig" ~ The mournful almost dirge-like "Dig" is one of my favorite songs of the album. There is a pensiveness paired both in the music and lyrics that was not found (and still is not found) in Contemporary Christian Music. And just in case you're wondering Adam Again was outside of CCM or, at the closest, at its outer edges. This song evokes both wonder and our incomprehensible finitude, a feeling of futility balanced by a rise in hope.
"Hopeless, Etc." ~ Man can dude hold his notes! Eugene typically stretches his notes in his verses but here he holds one for 13 seconds and another for 18 seconds. Waitaminute! This aint opera! Well, this song finds Eugene reviewing his person and not liking what he sees, nothing but incredulous failings, which ultimately leads him to conclude that "I am hopeless without You". This song could be the meaningful counterpart to Beck's song "Loser".
"Songwork" ~ Deep guitar tones begin and end this haunted number that recalls some old spiritual and Christmas hymns.
"Worldwide" ~ A protest song, specifically protesting the United States' "Operation: Desert Shield". Gene Eugene and several other alternative Christian artists did what many beatniks do best: protest with their music. This protest goes far beyond the misapprehension over combat and is applied to the mournful plights of the disenfranchised worldwide, or even of the common man who accidentally takes another's life.
"Walk Between the Raindrops" ~ ...if you can. Lord tell me what kind of man makes this plan? I don't understand such a grand scam?" With equal parts funk and groove rock this song could be about a number of things such as the televangelist's fleecing of their flocks of dopey sheep or man's grasping at straws to explain away God through science. It's left open for you to decide.
"Hidden, Hidden" ~ There are some nice lyrical tempo changes and great drumming found in this delectable bite of groove rock. Eugene sings about how we need to get things out in the open, our thoughts, our feelings, our shortcomings, in order to sort them out but how fear holds us back from doing so. There are some emotional undertones as he directs the quagmire that our barring up of sins creates and concludes "I fear that it could destroy me if you reveal what's hidden, hidden."
"River On Fire" ~ A heartbreaking and personal song of personal heartbreak, of loving someone and yet realizing that you are the cause of their pain. This song presages perhaps what was to become of Gene Eugene and Riki Michele's marriage. I can't be sure of this but Eugene didn't hide behind a lot of things (though "Hidden, Hidden" might disagree). The music here moves slowly, like a quiet vigil over an empty chair once occupied by a loved one and now occupied by a ghost. There are distant memories here of hot words and short cigarettes that still burn, albeit slowly and with ashen crumble intent. The song uses the metaphor of Cuyahoga, the river that caught fire, as a way of saying that two people don't automatically go together or that a relationship can become toxic and so behave not as it is supposed to. I wish that I could mandate a few contemporary artists to sing this song!
"So Long" ~ The closing track ends on a rock groove and is itself a song about ending, about saying, "So what? What's it all good for? So long!" A tongue-in-cheek way to end the album.