Home - Adrian Deutsch (published Sounds of Oz October 2011)

Adrian Deutsch serves up something different with his new solo effort Home. It's a far cry from the music he created with the now defunct Sydney rock band Red Riders, but that's just why I like it.

In his press release, Adrian tells readers the album came about a time when he was turning away from the indie rock he'd made a living from. Instead he found himself inspired by the sounds of Steely Dan, Hall and Oates, Michael McDonald, and other more mainstream fare. I could certainly hear the Steely Dan coming through from the opening strains of "Follow the Dream." I also detected a touch of Elvis Costello in "For You, The War."

But rather than sounding derivative, Adrian's used the best elements from his favourite acts to inspire his sound. It's all very smooth, with a great melodic focus. That makes the tunes instantly accessible, although there are more layers than the average Top 40 pop song. You can dig as deep as you like here. It's easy to appreciate the quirky melody of "The Arms of America," or the sheer joy of "By the Hand." But listen to the lyrics and you'll develop an even more profound sense of what Adrian's trying to do.

Your average Top 40 artist wouldn't dare take Adrianís risks either. It's eclectic, with some really interesting choices. "Yr Philosopher" really comes out of left field. It's so deliciously dark and dramatic. The maudlin "Nothing I Can Do" is also an interesting choice, particularly for a parting track. However it's such an achingly beautiful tune. Perhaps on such a diverse record it's only fitting that even the final song sees the disc making a sharp left turn.

I liked Home from the first listen, but I have a feeling I'm going to embrace it even more weeks or even months from now. This is really smart music, and it sounds amazing. That's a pretty heady combination.

(c) 2011 Lauren Katulka