Adult (Modern Outsider)
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., June 14, 2019
Again teaming up with Spoon drummer and producer Jim Eno, Adult finally begins to define Walker Lukens' unique sound. Amid the local glitch groover's kitchen-sink approach to his third LP, he torques intoxicating beats. Opener "Tear It Out My Heart" blasts a touch of classic Ghostland Observatory and "We See U" slinks along coyly. Where elements of Spoon's sharp, staccato pop previously dominated, they now integrate subtly on songs such as "Heard You Bought a House" and feel like necessarily familiar touchstones in Lukens' eclectic slippery movements. Beck serves as the North Star for his best moments. Backing female vox and choruses juxtapose against his solipsistic playfulness ("Black Matter"), though the skuzz soul on the album's back half – "U2me2," "I'll Take the Dog," and stringed R&B/pop mix "Didn't Wanna Do Right" – meld awkwardly.