Hot on the heels of his best-selling 2008 compilation, Daylight Kissing Night, former Cockeyed Ghost frontman and sometime Wrecking Crew collaborator Adam Marsland returns with an ambitious double album. Go West is one man’s musical migration, spanning several styles. However, this trip’s most notable roadside attractions are all power-pop gems. Marsland weaves his history and heart into his itinerary, but the melodies are forever moving forward. Even amidst thinly veiled tales of personal tragedy, there is happiness and hope that the voyage will bring better things. Songs like “Burn Down the World” and a fantastic cover of The Damned’s “Stranger on the Town” rev things up, imparting an infectious sense of enthusiasm and expectation, which the songs that follow never fail to deliver.
“Everything’s okay / Everything’s fine!” shouts the irresistible chorus of the first disc’s “I Don’t Wanna Dance with You”, backed by an intensely energetic, electro-pop beat bordering on classic new-wave disco. It’s definitely a high point in the album’s travels, as is disc two’s opening track, “When I Lied to Everyone”, which is a blistering example of what can occur when pop-rock meets post-punk. Though there are always trials along the way, Marsland’s finely honed song-crafting sensibilities keep Go West on course across both discs, reminding us that it’s all about the journey and not the destination.
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