Project Adorno: Facilitating the flow of information, imagination and ideas through the fusion of pop, performance poetry and song
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Underground Overdue (CD)

Rock N Reel Magazine 2008

This is the third proper Project Adorno album and once again the eclectic duo of Praveen Manghani and Russell Thompson combine a unique mix of poetry, programmed beats, chanson and pop, though the songs seem to be slowly gaining ascendancy over the spoken word. The album features material from their last 3 Edinburgh fringe shows with many live favourites including ‘Song For Germaine’ and ‘Upney Sidings’.

  As always their inspired lyrical commentaries and observations cover every aspect of contemporary popular culture and are affecting, moving and shot through with irony, intelligence and humour. They manage to simultaneously exhibit both an affectionate understanding and a quiet despair for the momentous and the trivial concerns of the modern age. The subjects range from Germaine Greer to McFly, from J. G. Ballard to Skegness Beach, from the flag of Romania to London Chip shops, and everything in between. All human life is here.

Praveen Manghani’s production is more confident than ever and stronger at the bass end than on previous recordings. As good as it is though, one can imagine what a craftsman like The The’s Matt Johnson would do with this material, if they could persuade him in the producers chair.

  Russell and Praveen’s intricate wordplay has always been a joy, but on this album they have taken great  strides with the musical content and it contains a number of gorgeous melodies, particularly the aching melancholy of ‘The Secret Dream Of Neil Tenant’ and the Zappa-ish ‘Little P.C.’

Here we have an album that pulls off the rare trick of being both original and accessible.

Steve Lake

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