Dear Adora
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Dear Adora

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Dear Adora is the musical project of Adam Keepman, a local Chicago musician with some folksy and alt-rock influences. The self-titled, self-released album is available online from a number of different vendors, including iTunes.

The album starts off boiling, but quickly simmers, relaxes becoming, at moments, almost ambient. The intensity begins to rise once more just prior to the album's emotional climax. Subsequently, a vast amount of the variety on Dear Adora comes not from variance in energy, but in the balance between the two major emotions of the musical mood: an attempt to make an affirmation of the present, despite the undeniable omnipresence of one's longing for all that is prior—the terrible force of melancholy nostalgia.

The energy on the album seems focused in the song “Madeline,” which causes a bit of front heaviness on the album in that respect. “Madeline” is catchy as hell, and I found it playing through my head rather often after first hearing it. “Madeline” uses a more traditional pop structure than the other songs on the album. It is the most ‘radio friendly’ song on the album, and it sticks to your ears. The entire song seems tragically up beat--regretful, but happy all the same. There is a similar mood throughout the album, though this is definitely the most energetic track.

The lyrics on “I Won’t Sleep” match the track's mood perfectly, and the drums are emphasized in the recording mix—but by pulling them away from the song's narrative. In a way, this pulsing, drum-pounding separation symbolizes the strictly-coded, ordered rhythm of youth which for some of us can be a struggle; it can be difficult to construct a comfortable, stable life for ourselves. As an adult, this new order emerges, but only lasts for a moment before fading once and for all as we grow old.

“More Than Love” stands out as an undiscovered treasure on the self-titled album with its strong, diverse instrumentation. It is the song I probably listen to the most from Dear Adora, and as it blends together and carries its theme throughout the song, it takes along with it that same energy—all-at-once glad and mournful. This song is one which leaves the listener craving more.

“Sweet Lady” is similar to “Madeline,” in its pop structure but does not carry the same energy. Keepman's vocals on this track are fantastic, and the rising and falling action of lyrics as well as instrumentation in the song are done extremely well. This song is heard like a movie in which the viewer is pulled along on various plot twists and turns. It acts as a sort of final push of brightness on the album before the saturnine final track “Turnaround.”

This final song builds up nicely into the middle, at which point it turns towards its somber ending, giving the listener an unfinished feeling in which they have two choices: Backtrack your entire life righting all the wrongs you have ever done or, listen to the album again. Everything comes through and you see the final exposition of languish, which Keepman had given hints of throughout the entire album.

Dear Adora is a genuinely unique band on the Chicago scene, and they have a lot of talent. The song writing is good, as is the instrumentation. The album leaves one wishing it was three tracks longer with an additional minute added to each song to expand their pop-music narrative. It is a gem of truly independent -Indie that is definitely worth picking up for a few listens.



John Stillwell

www.collisiondetective.com - Rock Candy


DEAR ADORA ALBUM REVIEW
We had the pleasure of having our album Dear Adora reviewed by Flowerbud Pillage!



Dear Adora’s self-titled album speaks to the masses suffering the general malaise of an ineffectual existence in ways truly haunting.

It’s in the way Dear Adora’s Adam Keepman manipulates his guitar and the poignancy of the interspersed notes throw in at appropriate intervals that inspires wonder. It speaks like a wounded beast in short, shocking wails, accompanying the vocal work in precise time. The lyrics embody a folksy vibe that recalls the personal feel of an open mic set, the emotions just pouring, but admittedly stifled in some aspects. It is no doubt a sophomore release could prove stronger lyrically. We know this story passed throughout time of love lost and despairing disappointment—we relate and bleed with Dear Adora.

The sound obeys no particular master harmony with songs like ‘Madeline’ and ‘I Won’t Sleep’ utilizing distortion to come to symbolize mental breakdown. In that respect, Keepman shows promise in the way he can capture the human condition and express it in all its glorious sorrow.

Don’t think it’s all heavy. ‘Radio’ stirs good feelings of nostalgia with promises that ‘I'll forget the past, forgive my past again,’ a real exhibition of his range and instrumental capacity.

At first, the self-titled album is mysterious, leaving a soft lingering melody in your head. There are certain nuances that warrant a second listen and by the end, the album departs on an inspiring note.

Dear Adora’s self-titled self-released independent album Dear Adora is available on iTunes for $7.92.

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Ian Endsley
flowerbudpillage.blogspot.com - Rock Candy


Discography

http://www.dearadora.com for streaming audio online

"Dear Adora" self-titled, self-released for online retailers 2006, Rock Candy Ltd.

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Bio

Influences include R.E.M. The Beatles The Lemonheads Donovan Joy Division Belle & Sebastian Elliott Smith Violent Femmes The Promise Ring The Stone Roses Leonard Cohen Iron & Wine The Replacements Juliana Hatfield Radiohead 10,000 Maniacs The Jayhawks Bon Iver The Damned Counting Crows The Jesus and Mary Chain Hosey's Meal The Sea and Cake Pedro The Lion The Ramones Wilco 764-Hero Nick Drake High May Escalante Ivy Matthew Sweet Golden Smog The Sundays Sebadoh The Buddyrevelles Sunny Day Real Estate Neutral Milk Hotel Wisconsin The Smiths Weezer Pavement The Pixies The Velvets...material and content and emotion set us apart from other bands...Inspired by decades-spanning friendships, the music of 'Dear Adora' was originally created around life experiences as a college student in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. "Twangy, lilting, alt-country melodies." -mpshows.com "Emotive"-Volumeone.org