It is certainly a marked contrast to his last album ‘The Beggar’, with a much warmer tone, albeit with a few lingering traces of melancholia.
‘A Friend of Mine’ opens the album beautifully with a charming ode to friendship which you could easily imagine sound tracking a Wes Anderson film. It’s followed by two heartfelt love songs, the tenderly romantic ‘Dancer In Your Eyes’, and ‘No Reason Why’, which has a childlike innocence to it. It may well be the album highlight and has an almost Beatles-esque melody.
A snippet of commentary from a nature documentary introduces ‘From A Dream’, a lament for the humble robin (the bird, not the songwriter) which somehow manages to sound both mournful and cheerful at the same time. “Can’t see the starlight/From the streetlight / Can’t tell the gutter from the stream / Can you tell the nightmare from the dream” sings Adams, contrasting pastoral and urban imagery. ‘Signs’ is probably the album’s most subdued and melancholic moment while ‘Market Convent Garden’ is a cover of a brilliant song by his father Chris Adams.
‘Black Cloud’ belies its gloomy title with defiant lyrics, with Adams singing “If I could get to the river I would swim my sorrows away/Let the water run over and wash my worries away.’ ‘All Your Money’, meanwhile, is positively jaunty, and features the deliciously surreal lyric, “Put all your monkeys on me, girl / Put all your monkeys on me / I’ll be a coconut tree little lady if you put all your monkeys on me.”
‘The Sea is my Brother’ sounds like a lullaby for tired sailors, while ‘One Thing’ closes the album with an air of playful whimsy. Its melody glides along sweetly as Adams speculates “One day I could be a cool breeze/dancing on the tree tops / playing in the sun.” For an album that clocks in at less than half an hour ‘One Day’ is a wonderfully rich offering which reveals its subtleties and idiosyncrasies fully over repeated listens.
It might be hyperbole to mention Robin Adams in the same breath as such greats such as John Lennon, Bob Dylan and Neil Young, but his songs are of such quality that you can’t help thinking that, like those legendary songwriters, his work will stand the test of time of time in ten, twenty, or fifty years. While he is writing songs in relative obscurity for the time being, Robin Adams’ music will reward anyone who cares to listen to it.