Having released one of the Greatest Albums of All Time, Television release a follow-up that's ... pretty good. Actually, it's more than pretty good, it's close to excellent.
initially seems underwhelming because Television have gone for a softer, mellower sound, and in contrast to Marquee Moon
's stark audio fidelity, the considerably lusher production job here sounds overproduced.
The problem comes down to the songwriting. The very obvious highlight is the Richard Lloyd tune "Days", rather than of Verlaine's seven contributions. "Days" is transcendently wistful, glorious pop, quality enough to rival even Ray Davies' tune bearing the same title, though closer in spirit to the Gene Clark side of The Byrds rather than The Kinks.
The rest of the songs simply aren't in the same league. Adventure
doesn't reach the stellar highs of the previous album's "Venus", or even "Guiding Light". Verlaine's songs are either pleasant trifles such as the boppy opener "Glory". Or the boppy "Careful". Or the boppy "Ain't That Nothin'" (I think I'm beginning to see a pattern), else they're overblown epics such as "Foxhole" (which works, love that soldier boy!
yell smack in the middle), and "The Fire" (which doesn't, nice eerie atmospherics though).
The album closes with the drifting, almost listless, yet lovely "The Dream's Dream", which at 6:39 is the longest track with the longest guitar solos; "Marquee Moon" it ain't, but leaving that comparison aside (which I doubt was possible for any listener in 1978) and it's a fine composition in its own right.
In short this is a good album, just not a great album. It's a sleeper, one that gets under-rated because it exists in the shadow of its predecessor, but listeners coming in no expectations might be surprised by how pleasant and in spots excellent this album is.Rated:
by Reviewer: Creative Noise
(blogging at Creative Noise
)13th June 2017