Review Summary: On his second effort, Adam Green remarks about wanting to die, KKK members dancing around a mountain, and being starstruck by your mother, while being accompanied by string arrangements and acoustic guitar.
As we have seen through recent trends and pop culture fluctuations, many things, serious or not, come and go. The more non-serious things appear often in the form of a gimmick; something made to garner attention and popularity without any real merits or worth. With the knowledge of gimmick artists and such, the questions eventually puts Adam Green into the question; is his music built on a base of solid musicianship and witty and clever lyrics, or is it just a scheme made out of words that rhyme?
An aspect that gets brought into question when reviewing Green's works are the lyrical content and how it matches up with the music. The music streams along as if it did not need its lyrical counterpart, however Green's wacky and funny lyrics help define his music and make it stand out. The song No Legs
emphasizes the importance his lyrics have in making this cd memorable and giving it replay value. The clever and warm at home line of "Theres no wrong way to *** a girl with no legs/just tell her you love her as shes crawling away" introduces the number and sets the table for the rest of the song and the story. While only a ripple in a puddle full of fellow witty and amusing words sung on this album, No Legs exemplifies this album perfectly, well-placed music in the background allowing the tale of ***ing some bitch with no legs to be on display for the shock and laughs of the listener. The content of the lyrics may be questionable in terms of taste but there is widespread appeal and entertainment to be had by most.
Ok so we've gone over that the lyrics may be offensive to some, but how does Green go about singing these tunes of lust and Jessica Simpson? Does his voice fly like the majesticly annoying vocals of James Blunt or does it creep deep down into the depths of old blues singers telling their real life tales. To be honest, it appears somewhere in the middle. His voice throughout the album mostly remains the same mid-range pitch, not giving way to singer cliches such as adding falsetto to try to intensify a part of the music (take note, Morrissey). The ongoing tone of sounding slightly lower than Beck but having the same just-woke-up appeal contributes by not taking himself so seriously. The voice he uses doesn't gain him attention and fans, but thats the point, it's not supposed to. The thing that gains him recognition is the previously mentioned lyrics and the soon-to-be-mentioned musical accompanyment.
Certainly not a slouch musically, Green provides the soundtrack to his words in the form of not only giving it the perfect backdrop to show the story of it with, but hiring Jane Scarpantoni to arrange the string parts, adding much to the music and flow. In one of the best and most established tunes on the album, Bluebirds starts off with a clear sounding bar chord and what kicks in soon after is Scarpantoni's fitting arrangement. The strings work to accent the mood of the piece and to play along with it. Sometimes these arrangements work in the opposite way, playing an uplifting tune while Green remarks about everyone wanting to "*** [his] princess.
Ok so the music works, the lyrics are great, and Green isn't a horrible singer, where does the album go wrong? Not often does Friends of Mine
hit a sour note, but its occasional slips are usually results of the rest of the album being produced better, or containing more well-written lyrics. Frozen in Time comes to mind when it comes to flow interruption, going along slowly and building up yes, but still is sort of a bump in this album's richly paved road.
There you have it. Green's departure from the Mouldy Peaches turns out to be a fresh one (after his average first solo album, Garfield
. This album is alive and funny, and recommended for everyone, unless you're a female with no legs who takes high offence to things.