Adam Green is casting a huge shadow over his contemporaries.
Just when it seemed that great singers were out of fashion, up pops AdamGreen. This fourth album from the Jewish-American troubadour is quitemagnificent. The twenty-four year-old New Yorker first surfaced with bandthe Moldy Peaches. His solo career began in 2001, since then becoming a bigfavourite in Europe, particularly Germany.
In true cavalier style, he’sboldly going places where artists of his age wouldn’t dare. His closestrival right now is UK singer-songwriter Richard Hawley(ref Coles Corner, 2005).That comparison is based on the retro ground breaking style of musicand singing that both pursue. Hawley is dubbed the ‘Roy Orbison ofSheffield’. Green is more in the classic Scott Walker mould. Had he beenaround in the 60s, he would have been a mega-star. His distinctively richbaritone voice is a throw-back to a time when great singing was recognisedan essential quality in the business.
His music, a peculiar mix of Vegas cabaret and alternative indie folk, isspectacular to say the least, and slightly off-kilter. Each song is a kindof ‘operetta’ – mostly big style productions that would grace a blockbustermusical on Broadway, making Jacket Full Of Danger an audio delight fromstart to finish.
Starting with stylish string arrangements, Pay The Tollsets a formidable palate, rapidly followed by a pseudo-cabaret classicHollywood. Swinging like ’60s Dean Martin, a low-fi Vultures ticks alonggently, showing a crooner on top of his game. A punchy, playful and heavilyorchestrated Novotel keeps the pace going nicely, whereas the OTT Hey Dudeis an all-out showcase of his measured vocal gymnastics. The single, NatKing Cole is a real blast, cranking up the gears once more, taking a leafout of the Elvis school of Rock’n’Roll.
Taking a welcomed break, he allowsthe string and back-up singers to lay a solid Eastern flavoured foundationon C-Birds. Back to the 60s, he drops down again; resorting to Vegasballadeering on West Coast influenced Cast A Shadow. Country tinged JollyGood and Watching Old Movies throw in a new dimension to his flourishingrepertoire. Like a bat out of hell comes a Led Zeppelin riffed monster –White Women, with its John Bonham pounding drum technique, as his singinggoes off the radar.
Having done the hard work, he opts for a mellow acoustic closer – HairyWomen, which rounds off a very impressive album.
The full list of tracks included are :
1. Pay The Toll
5. Party Line
6. Hey Dude
7. Nat King Cole
9. Animal Dreams
10. Cast A Shadow
12. Jolly Good
13. Watching Old Movies
14. White Old Movies
15. Hairy Women
Elly Roberts passed away in 2011, but he was a man who was so passionate about all types of music and loved meeting his musical heroes, such as Mick Hucknall at a book signing at the Trafford Centre, Manchester in 2007.
A former teacher and also a music journalist, DJ and radio presenter on local community station Calon FM, plus appearances on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru and BBC Radio 2, Elly started doing reviews for DVDfever.co.uk in 2004 and he did the majority of the CD and concerts reviews on the website.
I know also that he loved getting away for the summer to Spain and I hope that wherever he is now he is enjoying the hot sunshine and, as one of his friends has said on his Facebook page, that he is interviewing his musical heroes.