Reviews: 1.16.19: Berlin Horse Rides a Psych Pop Road

By Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

Berlin Horse
After The Headrush (2018)
First off, the question shouldn’t be what comes after the headrush, but rather what exactly is the headrush? And the answer? It’s simple, really: the headrush is what you get listening to this outstanding collection of songs from Brit Adam S. Leslie, working primarily on his own (save for drumming from Simon J. Turner). You’re not likely to know Mr. Leslie before now, but you will.

This mix of superlative psych-tinged, folk-peppered pop comes under the nom de plume Berlin Horse for reasons unknown but that most likely have to do with the aforementioned headrush. Speaking of a headrush, Mr. Leslie, back in the altogether heady days of Pure Pop Radio the radio station, put together a single, smashing hour-long program, manning the board and the microphone, and that was unfortunately it.

Adam S. Leslie (aka Berlin Horse)

Adam reenters our universe so many years later with this 12-song headrush of an album sporting so many highlights it’s hard to pick a favorite. Well, they’re all favorites, aren’t they? Well again, if they’re not right here and now, they soon will be.

Our favorites–our standout picks to click–are the very melodic Andy Partridge-meets-early-Pink Floyd “Lucidity Hazard of Celebrity,” brought to life with a variable, inventive arrangement–complete with a few brief sound effect side trips and spoken word bits–that swirls around the listener’s head. Introduced by a gaggle of giddy youngsters, it’s a marvel. “Have You Ever,” our second favorite, is a short, sweet uke flower blooming before your ears that brings to mind some of Donovan’s catchier confections.

And there is more, of course, from the Bo Diddley-meets-Buddy Holly organ-fueled stomper “Coming Up the Stairs” to the atmospherically sweet instrumental “Electric Bataleur,” spiced with backwards guitar and deft electric and acoustic guitar playing. (A bataleur, according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, is “a short-tailed African eagle.” And from that you can plan your next flight of fancy.

Released in the waning days of 2018, After the Headrush will likely and fairly quickly be followed by a sequel; Leslie is already hard at work on that eventuality. Meantime, snag a copy of this masterwork at the ever-popular Name Your Price dollar amount and, well, you’re welcome.

Where to Get It:  Bandcamp

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Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the premiere website covering the melodic pop scene with in-depth reviews of new and reissued recordings, and a wide variety of features. We’ve been around since the first weekly Pure Pop Radio shows, which began broadcasting in 1995, and the 24-hour Pure Pop Radio station, which ended this last August. Welcome to your number one home for coverage of the greatest melodic pop music in the universe from the ’60s to today.

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