Album: Adam Green

Friends Of Mine, Rough Trade
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The Independent Culture

As half of The Moldy Peaches, Adam Green is one of the darlings of New York's "anti-folk" scene. For this solo album, however, he has teamed up with the noted indie-rock cellist Jane Scarpantoni, whose string arrangements lend a deceptive cosiness to lyrics poised somewhere between the pointlessly offensive ("Goodnight to my new dead wife/ Goodnight to my Nazi friends", and several unprintable references to incest and amputee sex) and the just plain weird ("My face was falling off my head"). Many of Green's songs sound as if they're constructed using cut-up techniques with scant regard for narrative continuity or logic, isolated phrases occasionally crystallising into interesting images ("Prostitute fingers/ Fumbling with matches"; "Genital outlaws/ In a positive way"), but more usually reliant on the settings for structure. Like Lambchop's Kurt Wagner, Green can be comforting and disarming at the same time, smuggling suspect images under cover of smooth, unruffled MOR arrangements. The opening "Bluebird", for instance, boasts a cheery string arrangement, but the unfathomable lyric quickly assumes a more menacing character through the contrast between naivety and expletive-laced contempt, eventually blossoming into a chorus of "Suicide! Suicide!". Ultimately, these quixotic, cock-eyed compositions aren't a million miles away from the song-poems of Do You Know the Difference Between Big Wood and Brush. The difference is Green is trying to be weird.