Black Sedan – Adventure Lit Their Star
Adventure Lit Their Star is an eclectic mix created and developed by 30 different collaborators under the wing of the journalist Mark Hodkinson, which is an incredible achievement considering just how many different artists have been involved with the project. This varied unput means that the album is a real kaleidoscopic collection of music and we hear snippets of Lemon Jelly, the Durutti Column, the Gallagher’s, the Charlatans and the Smiths (without Morrissey) throughout. Adventure Lit Their Star has a real Mancunian feel to it, and at the the same it is both new and yet also familiar.
By Martin Frank
There are a few outstanding tracks here, with the first being Love On Love, which uses the ‘Machine Minds’ speech from The Great Dictator by Charlie Chaplin, which was also sampled by Paolo Nutini on the track Iron Sky,from his 2014 album Caustic Love. Mark’s use isn’t just sampling but is importantly integral to the piece, using the whole speech as the verse with Kellie While’s pure and haunting voice providing the chorus. It’sa wonderful blend that left us wanting more for more. Kellie can also be found on several other tracks, linking these songs together, with this being a bit of a move from her more usual folk heritage. The poetical and moody The Girlfriend Self-help Book is another stand out track to watch which begins with a simple narrative and develops as the track progresses.
Mark says “Almost always, you can tell what an album is going to
sound like after the first two or three tracks,” you would be wrong
this is an album it has something for everyone and that’s the
problem. Using five different vocalists it’s difficult to find the
direction this album is going in, one minute you’re whisked back to
nineties Manchester, the next you’re in a crazy world with
electronic seagulls asking your mother about the dead.
Individually each track is masterfully produced, and we found ourselves playing the album over and over again. This is great, however it doesn’t feel like an album of hits but instead more like a compilation album. There are a few tracks we would skip because they spoil the overall mood this album creates, and depending on your musical taste these track may differ, which is rather interesting.
Danger Mouse collaborated on his ROME album (a
masterpiece in our eyes) by using the now aged musicians responsible for the classic spaghetti westerns of the sixties. As well as bringing in more modern stars such as Norah Jones and Jack White, the album had a classical, easy, western theme to it, and a tone that was carried throughout. This album doesn’t have a theme so it’s harder to enjoy in that sense – one minute it’s electronic and fun, and the next it’s Oasis or the Charlatans. Mark created this amazing music under the mantle of the Black Sedan name after an old record shop he
knew growing up in Rochdale, and we’re sure we all had such fantastic privately run music havens to explore in our youth. Adventure Lit Their Star is
like that – the album is an adventure and features heavy exploration with so many varied tracks presented for your enjoyment – however we’re just not sure they that work together as an album.