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CD: Adam Ant - Adam Ant is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner’s Daughter | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Adam Ant - Adam Ant is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner’s Daughter

CD: Adam Ant - Adam Ant is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner’s Daughter

Prince Charming’s sprawling, mildly pervy return pays tribute to past inspirations and old friends

Adam Ant's comeback album: a return to the kinkiness of Adam and the Ants at their earliest

“Punky young girl needs a middle aged man/ Whose mid-life crisis you began/ …such a work of art…lift up your skirt, let me lick the alphabet/ …what’s under there? I hope to Christ it’s lingerie.” The voice is sinuous, cajoling. The creepy, ridiculously catchy Kate Moss-inspired “Punkyoungirl” immediately grabs the attention on the former dandy highwayman’s first album since 1995. Along with “Stay in the Game”, a spindly, eerie dirge which could have been in Adam and the Ants' repertoire circa 1977/78, it revisits an era when whips were withdrawn from the valise.

Adam Ant is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner’s Daughter has to be a personal landmark for the Eighties’ icon who has latterly - and publicly - made no secret of his long-term mental health issues. It’s released on his own label, suggesting that he has taken control of all aspects of the creative process. Most of all, it is a statement of who Adam Ant was, is, and where he’s going. Filling up most of the available 70 minutes with 17 songs (one is a reprise), this is, generally, a valediction. Collecting all the various Adam Ants who have emerged over the years, it's like a career-spanning compilation. Except that all the songs are new.

Pop smarts surface on the chugging “Vince Taylor”, a minor-key gem name-checking Morrissey as well the iconic, ill-fated, leather-clad rocker of its title. “How Can I Miss You” puts an avant twist on country, in keeping with the moves which took him into the charts 30 years ago. “Vivienne’s Tears” is a tender paean to Vivienne Westwood, while “Who's a Goofy Bunny?” pays tribute to Malcolm McLaren. As aural autobiographies go this isn’t an easy ride, but it is one worth taking.

Visit Kieron Tyler’s blog

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