Many musicians believe that King's X is the most talented yet unappreciated band today but I would hold that this horrible distinction goes to Adam Again. After twelve years in existence, they have produced a mere five albums, each one better than the last. To add insult to injury, they are on a Christian label, meaning limited distribution and even more limited airplay. Part of the problem lies with songwriter Gene Eugene, the nucleus of the band, who takes up to four years to write lyrics for an album. But the result is always worth the wait. Worldwide Favorites, as the titles implies, is a 70+ minute best of album, but even so, it shows how incredible and underrated this band is. The Adam Again sound is guitar-based rock with a subtle yet overwhelming groove that makes all within earshot find themselves helpless moving to the catchy rock-funk of Eugene and co. "Stone" finds the band at their song writing best with a simple yet compelling chord progression as Eugene sings of his divorce from backup singer Riki Michelle with "It won't do any good. I never really could convince you that when I said to leave I meant 'Please stay.' There, I've said it now, too late." "Bad News on the Radio" and "Homeboys" speak in gritty reality of death and loss, true stories from when they lived in the inner city of Los Angeles. The hopelessly morose "Hide Away" speaks of loneliness with such painful lyrics as "Do you hide away because I just want to feel you? Darling I'm touching you now. Just don't know how to be near you. Baby, come close." Other tracks, such as "It's All Right", "Dig", and "Relapse" show what this band can do when it throws off all restraints with extended jamming that leave one physically unable to keep still. My only complaint with this disc is that of the sixteen tracks, only three are from the first two, nearly impossible-to-find albums. I know many who only enter a Christian book store every few years to buy the latest Adam Again CD and I suggest you do likewise, though don't be surprised if even there it has to be special ordered. King's X never had it so rough.
This review first appeared in WhatzUp, July 1999.