by Adam Green


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Musically, Adam Green is a strict classicist, a pop craftsman par excellence. He seems to be a very keen and very gifted student of pop music's vast and intricate rule book. Thus his music is not especially original in any way, though often sophisticated, tuneful, and clever. On Gemstones, the third and best of his solo albums, Green seems to have perfected his art. Some of the tracks here rank among the finest pop songs that are made these days. These tunes all have something in common: almost every one of them lasts for about two minutes, stripping away every possibly unnecessary part. They are also all pretty much arranged the same way: just acoustic guitar, bass, electric piano, and some tastefully arranged strings here and there. Green and his excellent backing band makes the most of that simple lineup on every track. Then, of course, there are the lyrics. Green sings the darndest things. Who else could write a great stomping cabaret-pop number with all clean and fun lyrics except for that one crucial line (and song title!) "Choke on a Cock"? This penchant of his for extremely obscene and downright childish lyrics can surely turn people off, but it seems to be an integral part of his artist persona. You do remember the Moldy Peaches, don't you? The contrast between his lyrical style and his voice sure is puzzling at times. How can this deep, warm, resonant, and utterly believable voice sing such poppycock? All that aside, just listen to the songs and be charmed. There's the wonderfully melancholic ballads such as "Losing on a Tuesday" and "Before My Bedtime," where he sounds like a dead ringer for Scott Walker. There's the catchy and fun, almost '50s-styled rock & roll such as single "Emily," while "Carolina" is another slice of wonderful cabaret pop, and on "Over the Sunrise" he suddenly goes all Jim Morrison on you. In other words, there's something for everyone here. In fact, all 15 tracks have strong musical qualities. An unusually strong, well-produced album of classic songwriting.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/01/2007
Label: Rough Trade
UPC: 5050159819423
catalogNumber: 5981942
Rank: 76605

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Gemstones 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Weather you know Adam Green's music or not, this is the cd to buy! This is his best album yet. A+ + +! He is a lyrical genius and his songs just keep getting better. I especially like the keyboards on this album, it add a special touch to a sound that was already wonderful. Check this album out, you wont be disappointed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
to love Adam Green... If you are familiar with Adam Green and his musical style, it's not too hard to understand why you might be skeptical to blast his album in your parents house or sing his tunes on the bus, unless you were seeking out quizzical glances and stifled chuckles. And Gemstones, in that respect, is no different (Carolina, it seems, drops red bricks from her vagina and still has a boyfriend, whom she probably should leave...that sort of thing). You'll gasp and chortle and sometimes laugh loud and long and somewhat ashamedly. Then, of course, you'll sigh and swoon and sing and dance and melt and get fired up and be calmed down and do all of those things that you do, when you're listening to the sometimes nonsensical and sometimes too meaningful words of this album. Adam Green's mind still works in the same twisty bendy sort of way. What is different, and what makes Gemstones so unbelievably good, is the music itself. It's Green's third album, and it leaves me wondering what he's going to do next. His first solo effort, Garfield, (after the breakup of garage-y antifolk band, The Moldy Peaches) was preciously lo-fi, with stumbling instrumental work, computer noise, feedback. The second, Friends of Mine, is crooner style, with sweeping string arrangements, weepy torch songs, waltzy rock songs. Once again he redefines himself with Gemstones, a gritty, bluesy, rockabilly, Beatles and Stones-y-type tribute with a Wurlitzer. You all should check it out. It's a good time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gemstones is Adam Green's third album, and with each release he seems to be getting better, and better. Gemstones is filled with catchy tunes that your ears will love! I recommend anybody who enjoys good, fun music to buy this.