Adam Green - Gemstones
1 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Feb. 16, 2005
Review by Tony BonyataI love a dirty joke as much as the next person - just as long as it's funny. Unfortunately on Adam Green's latest album Gemstones the singer comes off more like a standup comic dying a slow death opening for The Steve & Edie Show than the hip indie-artist he's being promoted as.
With a schmaltzy lounge lizard croon over half-baked melodies filled out with acoustic guitars and cheese-food organ, Green's music is hard to take serious. And the cornball lyrical subjects that gravitate around genitalia (both male and female) and drugs (both prescription and street) certainly don't make it any easier to swallow. It's not really clear why he revisits these two themes over (and over and over), since the gags weren't remotely humorous the first time around. But then again who am I to cast a stone at someone who apparently loves cock and crack as much as this guy does.
When Green's vocals manage to marry well with the music, such as his Jim Morrison attack on the chorus of "Over the Sunrise," it seems worthwhile, but, unfortunately, these moments are few and far between.
The one ace-in-the-hole that this singer has going for him is a gushing endorsement from The Strokes' vocalist Julian Casablancas. Green used to open for The Strokes when he was with Moldy Peaches, so it's no surprise when he not only apes Casablancas' deadpan vocal stylization on "Carolina," but also namedrops Strokes' drummer Fab Moretti in the same song (come to think of it, this guy even looks like he's from The Strokes). On "Chubby Princess" Green further tries to mirror the biting dry wit of Morrissey, but fails miserably, while his anti-Bush anthem "Choke On A Cock" is just downright dumb (which may have been his point, although I somehow doubt it.)
If silly disposable ditties are your bag, then this album (which is overloaded with them) might be right up your alley. But if it's blue laughs you're after, might I instead suggest, "There was a young man from Nantucket..."
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