Album Reviews

Adam Green – Sixes & Sevens

(Rough Trade) UK release date: 10 March 2008

The Moldy Peaches‘ lo-fi offerings and silly costumes were always something of an acquired taste, but with each release Adam Green makes it harder and harder to believe he came from such absurd and scrappy beginnings.

Sixes & Sevens is his fifth hugely accomplished work in a prolific six year long solo career and while it is clear he has retained his sense of humour, Green’s songwriting has matured into something rather special indeed.

The album opens with an infectious run of beautifully soaring ditties driven by golden vocals and peppered with a warm mix of acoustic guitars, pianos, strings, horn sections, glockenspiels, wurlitzers and even a Brooklyn gospel choir. It makes for a very strong start which thankfully never lets up once as Green experiments with a whole range of styles for each track, dabbling in easy listening efforts, soulful ballads, quick witted indie rock, disco and stripped down experimental soundscapes to wonderful effect.

Where the music takes a turn for the peculiar, such as on the rhythmic spoken word offering That Sounds Like A Pony, Green keeps us happy with compelling funny lyrics.

He mentions everything from “multi-tasking mormons” to pilates and describes a man who “drinks from the nozzle and stinks like a ferret” on that particular track before opening the piano tinkles-tinged Grandma Shirley with the line “have you heard the news, big boy’s picking his nose” and encouraging us to “butter your roll just like Nat King Cole” on Exp.1. Eccentricities aside, Sixes & Sevens has its fair share of serious moments too, of course, and they tend to be situated slap bang in the middle of the record with the romantic-sounding Getting Led, Broadcast Beach, It’s A Fine, Homelife and Drowning Head First which is a low-key duet between Green and his girlfriend.

Green’s former band may be getting big Stateside on the back of the Juno soundtrack, but his ever-growing talent, unique outlook on life and sense of humour drip from everything he does and Sixes & Sevens is further proof that it would be a huge mistake for him to abandon his solo projects and return to his old day job.

Few other modern musicians are as adept at taking such a tried and tested genre and making it utterly their own. Superb records like this blow even bigger holes in the tedious claptrap that people like Newton Faulkner and James Blunt dare to call singing and songwriting. Along with fellow New Yorker Jeffrey Lewis, Green is a modern masterclass in how to keep creative.

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Adam Green – Sixes & Sevens
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