red lights


All kitsch without
a shred of cool

Adam Green - Jacket Full of Danger
(Rough Trade)
1 star (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Oct. 31, 2006
Adam Green

Review by Andy Argyrakis

Every time an established act boasts about an underground artist, its fan base usually clamors to discover that diamond in the rough, tell all their friends and help raise that person's profile much more than their circumstances would usually allow. Though Rough Trade is certainly no slouch of a record label, having internationally recognized rockers like The Strokes giving Adam Green props has clearly contributed to his growing level of acceptance. Of course, any discerning music lover shouldn't necessarily accept The Strokes' opinion point blank, instead taking time to seek out some samples and snippets before swooping up a copy of Jacket Full of Danger.

Should they actually take the time to investigate, chances are they'll turn down the chance to buy this scattered project of bizarre easy listening pap by a 24-year-old who probably wouldn't mind being labeled "the next Leonard Cohen." Sure, he evokes that iconic artist with his quirky delivery, but doesn't come anywhere close to Canada or any of his other influences (such as Jim Morrison or Johnny Cash). At best, Green sounds like a late night lounge performer who scoured thrift shops all day long to find the swankiest 70s suit, trying desperately to be a hipster without actually being hip. Tunes like "Party Line" and "Pay the Toll" instead have a finger snapping quality that's slightly reminiscent of Tom Jones or Burt Bacharach, but its all kitsch without a shred of cool.

"Watching Old Movies" adapts an acoustic, country tipped disposition, but lacks any authentic swagger whatsoever, while "Cast a Shadow" takes a sunnier approach despite lacking overt appeal beyond mere background music. The disc's finale "Hairy Women" also has its share of musical grievances, coupled with foolish lyrics and annoying moans. Even though this New Yorker may be fashionable in some circles, his types of designs are destined to wear out once the trend passes and likely to clutter those illustrious resale shops for all the wrong reasons.

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