Kindness, the stage name of Adam Bainbridge, released a single in 2009 and caused somewhat of a stir. No one knew much about him; he seemed reluctant to do any press and then as quickly as he came, he disappeared. Now, after three years, it turns out he was busy recording his début album, ‘World, You Need a Change of Mind.’ However, he continues to be a mystery and is unusual in the fact that, apart from a Myspace page, you’ll struggle to find more than a trace of him on the internet.
‘World, You Need a Change of Mind’ has ten songs with a mix of 80s Funk and Disco. It’s dance music but with an ethereal quality, often with a sense of melancholy over its rhythmic grooves.
The album starts off with ‘Soed’, a song featuring synthesisers and lead guitar over a simple, laid-back groove. Here the dance-floor is most explicitly mentioned, with Bainbridge singing ‘When we dance we’re all the same’ and ‘Let the music become part of you.’
The second song, and one of the album’s highlights, is ‘Swingin’ Party.’ Kindness has successfully taken a song by The Replacements and swapped the guitars for synthesisers, and with his vocals added to it, has given it an air of sadness. It also has a hint of The Pet Shop Boys, which is a bonus.
‘Gee Wiz’ has a more sparse sound, with a simple Funk guitar part and double tracked vocals that give the song a sense of eeriness.
After a slow, drawn out intro, ‘That’s Alright’ becomes more upbeat and in your face than the other songs; it is faster paced and the lyrics more confrontational: ‘If you want it, come and get it’ and ‘If it’s too much, say forget.’
It ends with one of its best songs, ‘Doigsong.’ It has less Disco and more Funk than any of the other songs, with slap bass and jangly rhythms on guitar.
‘World, You Need a Change of Mind’ does have its problems, the main one being a cover of ‘Anyone Can Fall in Love’, a 1986 song in which Anita Dobson AKA Angie Watts ‘sings’ over the Eastenders theme tune. Kindness may be trying to be ironic, but this doesn’t earn him forgiveness for bringing back a song that should have stayed in the past; it is incredibly cheesy and gives you no reason to listen to more than once.
Some of the tracks feel more like demos and experiments than complete songs, it seems Kindness came up with ideas that he didn’t quite know what to do with. The lyrics can also be banal, but they do the job.
However, even with its faults, ‘World, You Need a Change of Mind’ is a great album and deserves to be listened to. Just get ready to press skip when ‘Anyone Can Fall in Love’ comes on.
‘World, You Need a Change of Mind’ is out now.