Television
Adventure


5.0
classic

Review

by ArtBox USER (26 Reviews)
August 13th, 2016 | 10 replies


Release Date: 1978 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "When I see the glory / I ain't gotta worry..."

People like Marquee Moon. It’s a gross understatement, considering the retrospective acclaim it received by critics, or public adoration by musicians like Michael Stipe and John Frusciante. Still, whatever discussion there is about Television inevitably drags Marquee Moon into the equation – and here lies the problem in approaching the band’s sophomore effort, Adventure. Thirty-nine years of building Marquee Moon’s pedestal, praising the precise attack of Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd’s dual melodies, slowly recognising it as a cornerstone of what rock music could become – it begs the daunting question “How the hell do these guys top this"”

They didn’t need to. Adventure is the sound of Television going back and doing exactly what they had done before musically – and the magic is still there. It’s what is outside the band that contributes to the quieter sound of Adventure; John Jansen’s production sands down the edges of Marquee Moon, and in doing so allows the softer flourishes of Television’s sound to expose themselves. The cascading piano of ‘Guiding Light’ comes back and forcefully darkens the mood of ‘The Fire’, yet restrains itself before it starts to overshadow the trademark cleanliness of Verlaine and Lloyd’s lines. Elsewhere, the start-stop motions of Marquee Moon’s title track form the backbone of ‘Glory,’ and and the solos of 'Foxhole' are just as freewheeling as ‘Friction’. Normally such similarity in structure would detract from the experience, but in the case of Adventure, it simply proves Verlaine’s ability to craft one great song after another.

If there’s little difference in the band’s music, there’s a larger difference in Verlaine’s lyrics. Admittedly, Verlaine did previously convey a lot of thematic tension in between all the cryptic metaphors and puns, but it was infused with a playful tone, and ambition for “a whole lot more than anyhow.” Here, Verlaine imbues a touch of weariness alongside his paranoia. Amidst the gliding atmosphere of ‘Carried Away,’ he exclaims “Everything was more than I took it for,” while the bouncing Beatles-esque “Careful” twists itself with a loss of sweet dreams and seemingly insincere declarations of apathy. New lanes are aptly explored – such as the soldier’s lament in ‘Foxhole,’ a rare outing into war by Verlaine – but for the most part, the lyrical obtuseness of Television’s debut is less present, save for the pondering of whether the ‘dream dreams the dreamer.’ In hindsight, this resignation could be seen as a herald of Television’s quiet break-up months later – but in its own context, it’s a compelling collection of Verlaine’s dissatisfaction.

Though history has been kinder to Television as it passed, Adventure seems to have been shunted aside. Nevertheless, it stands as a classic in its own right, even against the power of Marquee Moon. In the very least, as the years pass, audiences collectively challenge Verlaine’s confident denouement of ‘The Fire’: “Everything scattered / Nothing was missed.” As their own reunion proved, everything reunited; nothing was lost.



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user ratings (200)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
SharkTooth
August 13th 2016


13970 Comments


solid review, I never listened to Marquee Moon so maybe I should check them out

danielcardoso
August 13th 2016


11770 Comments


Marquee moon is amazing shark, definitely check it out! This one i never heard though, will read the review later when i have some spare time.

MrSirLordGentleman
August 13th 2016


12402 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice to see this got a review after all this time



@Shark definitely check Marquee Moon, one of the best albums ever. Guitar heaven

danielcardoso
August 13th 2016


11770 Comments


This is very well written dude so pos from me, gonna try this soon.

SimpleM
August 13th 2016


121 Comments


underrated album good review

arnoldperson
August 13th 2016


13 Comments


good review, pos'd

ArtBox
August 15th 2016


282 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@Shark Marquee Moon is utterly fantastic.



@danielcardoso A super late thanks, man :D That's great coming from you, loved your Van Halen reviews.

danielcardoso
August 15th 2016


11770 Comments


I hate most of em, but still honestly thanks a lot man ahah. and yeah i'm gonna check this and their s/t soon, that one doesn't have a review too damn.

ArtBox
August 15th 2016


282 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, the Television review collection needs filling. I thought about doing a s/t review, picked up the CD online specifically for it. Don't know whether it'll be written up after I listen to it.

danielcardoso
August 15th 2016


11770 Comments


Yea if you write it that's cool, if you don't i can fill in for ya too :]



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