By New Times
By Derek Askey
By Mark Deming
By Serene Dominic
By Jason Keil
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Jeff Moses
By Serene Dominic
While Adam Green's counterpart in the très cool Moldy Peaches, Kimya Dawson, has taken a more serious route in her solo career, singing songs about anthrax and globalization, Green has retained the peachy playfulness on his second solo outing, Friends of Mine. And the "anti-folk" singer's whimsy leads to the lyrics of certain tracks having a distinct Mellow Gold-ian feel. Note these lyrics to "Broken Joystick": "Skeleton of a smoking plane/Catch a train to an open vein/The smoke just cleared/Something went wrong/The catfish choked/The sky is gone beneath their boats/The forecast floats/The joystick choked." Yeah, but was it a monkey in the time of chimpanzees?
You can't blame the guy for taking lessons from the O.G. Green, though, is by far no loser. His lyrics pick up with irony where Beck left off in the land of obscurity. To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Hansen never even attempted a lamenting ballad dedicated to a second-tier pop diva. On "Jessica," Green turns Jessica Simpson into a tragic figure who has lost touch with the true joys in her life -- "Jessica Simpson/Where has your love gone/You need a vacation."
Green, in some respects, may have taken more in the way of musical direction from his father, famed Broadway writer Adolph Green. Musical-theater enthusiasts likely know the old man for his work on musicals like Wagon Wheel and Singin' in the Rain rather than for an obvious amusement with perversion. One noted stage direction from the elder Green read, "Enter Scrotum, a wrinkled retainer." The lyrics to "No Legs" are just as much a cause for blushing: "There's no wrong way to fuck a girl with no legs/Just tell her you love her as she's crawling away."
Green sings with a monotonic mock sincerity that, along with acoustic guitar and subtle string arrangements, dominates the album. He may not be able to bust out on the ones and twos like Beck, and he doesn't seem to have the odd obsession with robots, but if Adam continues to hone his writing skills, the anti-folk world will at least continue to enjoy a few good contemplative laughs.