Monday, April 2, 2018

With My Floating Friend

Television : Days

In April of 1978 Television released Adventure, their follow-up to the critically acclaimed debut Marquee Moon. As every single critic who has ever written about Adventure points out, it suffers in comparison to the great debut. But, if like me, you know every note of Marquee Moon by heart, at least Adventure offers surprises.

Among the surprises is that Tom Verlaine insisted on writing new songs for the album rather than relying on the concert set lists of the past. Only "Foxhole" and "Careful" would have been familiar to long time fans of the band.

Adventure is less jagged, less nervy. "Days" is beautiful. There are many who will tell you Marquee Moon is the only Television album you need, but Adventure is very good all on its own.

From Robert Christgau's A -review in the Village Voice :

Those scandalized by Marquee Moon's wimpoid tendencies are gonna try to read this one out of the movement. I agree that it's not as urgent, or as satisfying, but that's only to say that Marquee Moon was a great album while Adventure is a very good one. The difference is more a function of material than of the new album's relatively clean, calm, reflective mood. The lyrics on Marquee Moon were shot through with visionary surprises that never let up. These are comparatively songlike, their apercus concentrated in hook lines that are surrounded by more quotidian stuff. The first side is funnier, faster, more accessible, but the second side gets there--the guitar on "The Fire" is Verlaine's most gorgeous ever.

From Ken Emerson writing for Rolling Stone 

By daring to be different, Adventure lives up to its title, but it also comes as something of a disappointment because it lacks the jagged tension and mysterious drama that imbued last year's Marquee Moon with such dark but lucid power. Marquee Moon celebrated friction, and Richard Lloyd's rhythm guitar fairly grated against Tom Verlaine's more lyrical lead playing. The music is dreamier and much more benign here, more apt to charm than to challenge. Instead of baying at the moon, Verlaine often yelps like a puppy. On "Carried Away," his vocal veers uncomfortably close to something you'd expect from Keith Carradine.

1 comment:

  1. The Dream's Dream is a wonderful song (... the dreams dreams a dreamer...)