Urban Depth from an Island of Sages

Artist: Adam and the Fish Eyed Poets

Album: Songs from an Island

Release Date: 26th September 2012

4/5 stars

Recommended songs : Magic Wand, Cracks on the Screen.

A terrestrial being, who considers himself to be a ‘poet first and musician second’, is actually a sage foretelling the naked truths of urban chaos. Kishore Krishna hailing from Chennai has been shaping up his bed room project to an electro rock band named ‘Adam and the Fish Eyed Poets’ whose new album “Songs from an Island” visions the contemporary conflicts of the folks of middle age.  In our Sunday brunches and Friday’s clinking glass of whiskey or in our little sinless shopping and dense tea parties, we overlook to look at each other, while we end up being under the same roof after the whole day’s chores. Neither we look superficially nor in layers. We remain inarticulate about our tiny mind mechanism, about our drastically changing dense feelings about each other. The sages here, with their simple yet dense poetry, with their peppy yet eccentric music arrangements have presented a delicious platter of catastrophe, the one that is spiritual, makes you look deep into you, which forces you to interrogate your soul.

The 40:02 minute album tells the tale of 20 years of Ravi and Shanthi, about their subdued marital discord which is the result of the lack of love and passion, thus resulting to some climactic crisis but it ends with a panging reconciliation over brimmed with hapless surrenders to the mid-life and its problems.   The first song of the album titled ‘Rise-upping’ records Ravi’s success in his work and how his life is just about ‘money’ and ‘keep America happy’. The second song titled ‘Saturday Night Shake Shake’ pictures Ravi’s disgust about his unconcerned wife and how he yearns for ‘holy waters of love’ from her. ‘Redecoration Blues’ talks about Shanthi for the first time in the album, about her unbearable depression reflected when she compares her house as ‘despairing’ and a ‘sick joke’.  ‘Devil’s Plateau’ portrays Ravi’s inclination to initiate an intimate moments because he knows that they are ‘still not old’ but also agrees that ‘there is no prize’. ‘Wartime Mornings’ talks about Shanthi’s nervous breakdown by the gas lighting portraying the fact that she is the victim of an utter darkness that has been created in her mind which also makes her ‘sealing the windows off’. ‘Magic Wand’ ends up being a revelation to Ravi about Shanthi’s present state where he is enlightened with the fact that her ‘narcotic juice’ has dried up. ‘Shanthi’s Last Stand’ is the prologue to the climax of their life, where she has leaned on alcohol and is brave with a knife in her hand and she confirms that she will be ‘heard’ and ‘remembered’.  ‘Dominus Domina’ which in Greek means the Man and the Woman, where Shanthi, shoves away her disgust and tries to persuade her Dominus to have a baby, though she accepts the crude reality that ‘a child born in the absence of love is/doomed doomed to be deformed’. ‘Entreaty’ takes us to the edge, where Shanthi confronts Ravi with her weapon in his hand. Ravi urges to make a convenient reality for them, he wants to be the ‘model of fidelity’ and Shanthi to be the ‘perfect wife’. ‘Katy’ is Shanthi’s self revelation where she admires the goddess like nuances of Katy Perry, harboring on the fact that she has suppressed pangs of homosexuality. The last song of the album, pictures the unavoidable surrender of Shanthi to her predictable monotonous life. She realizes it’s just a vicious circle where she is entrapped eternally with no door to escape. She is degraded to a ghost, that has ‘perfection’ in her routine, that is ‘practiced to deceive’. ‘Cracks on the Screen’ concludes our journey with Ravi and Shanthi.

The music of these songs have a pattern that confirms the budding up chaos. The first few songs have happy beats, where you swing your head and smile a bit. As the album advances, with clouded tension and claustrophobic anxiety, the arrangements too are violent and revolting.  The violence starts from ‘Wartime Mornings’ and ends with ‘Entreaty’. Few undaunted and rash guitar solos added the flavor much more. The personalities of these songs are strong and are devoid of fault. Each and every composition here keeps harmony with the felt emotions.

‘Songs from an Island’ is indeed a phenomenal journey, rather a mirror to the urban dwellers. Contradiction, confusion, suspicion and disgust. We tend to forget the essence of love and comradeship. Adam and the Fish Eyed Poets with their tale of despair have tried to trace the reasons and logic behind these unparallel contemporary parts and parcel, to make us question ourselves and to keep a check on our soul.

You can hear them here online.



You can watch their previous performances and music videos here online.





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