Killing Joke

“Different World” gives a view worth listening to

Sometimes through smog and grime, a musician can produce something that has a message that is clear and prominent. Adrian T Bell’s Different World delivers a debut solo album that soars in its own right. The frontman of Czech band The Prostitutes has forged his own path in the indie world.

The Newcastle upon Tyne singer has made an album that feels fantastically honest. Although that sounds like something that should be delivered from most musicians, it’s not. There are some very dreamy moments from Bell. Title track “Different World” opens with a lovely piano solo as he reminisces of his times as a child. The combination creates a a sweet sense of intimacy with the musician.

The highlights come thick throughout the track listing. Opening track “Mindless State of a Homeless Man” has a bouncy bassline that’s good enough to make even Andy Rourke sick with envy. Single “Realise” is the fantastic stand-out. Part jangle pop. Part jazz flute. The entire song has a lightness to it that is infectious in every way.

Producer Michael Rendall (who has previous worked on albums like Killing Joke’s 2012 superb MMXII) has helped construct a story that follows themes of personal revolution (Viva La Revolucion) and maturing. Closing track “The Train Moves On” is an insightful look at the continuing (sometimes painful) monotony of life. The songs come across both highly personal yet equally relate-able.  

The album only seems to slow down when the songs get too clever. “Dance With Me” is sweet enough lyrically, but the Latin beat only makes the song feel a bit cheesy.

Even though he gets stuck sometimes, Different World shines the most when Bell draws on his maturity and experience. He’s clearly a musician that understands his world and knows what he expects of it. The album is mature and generally impressive.

* Different World will be released in the UK on Megaphone Records in February.

Watch Adrian T Bell’s video for “Realise” below.