Sixes & Sevens

"If not entirely out of gas, Green certainly seems to be having trouble shifting gear."

To say that an Adam Green album feels overly twee seems somewhat pointless. Along with his old Moldy Peach sidekick Kimya Dawson, he practically founded a whole genre around unashamedly lovelorn lyrics, and simple, unaffected performances. This release, Green’s fifth as a solo artist, arrives at a curious time thanks entirely to the success of this years surprise hit indie-flick Juno. The soundtrack, compiled by his ex-bandmate, is a veritable anti-folk best of, taking the duos stock to unprecedented heights.

In typically ironic fashion then, Sixes & Sevens seems to be Green’s most deliberate attempt yet to move away from lowbrow charm in favour of pristine pop. To compound the surprise, he does his best to imitate the vocal girth of Scott Walker and Lee Hazlewood, complete with elegantly brooding melodies and sweeping string sections. Think Neil Hannon O’ New York and you’re not far off.

With song titles such as ‘Leaky Flask’ and ‘Twee Twee Dee’ however, there remains a sense that Green’s partiality to adolescent whimsy will forever tend to undermine the dexterity of his craft. As such, its highlights are more satisfying on their own than in the context of the album. His deep, baritone croon saves the record’s best tracks, such as ‘Homelife’ and ‘It’s A Fine’, by adding just enough romantic sincerity to make its listeners believers.

Overall though it’s a rather slight and often flat affair and these wispy tales of ‘Tropical Islands’ and ‘Rich Kids’ rarely quicken the pulse. If not entirely out of gas, Green certainly seems to be having trouble shifting gear.

 

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