The seemingly unlikely pairing of Adam Green and Binki Shapiro is a curious one. Adam Green of “Moldy Peaches” fame teams up with Binki Shapiro with her sultry and sometimes even smokey vocals. In their debut self titled album Adam Green & Binki Shapiro, they try their hand at the seemingly crowded genre of ‘60’s throwback pop’ and for the most part, succeed in creating a fun little album full of strange love songs. It’s a welcome distraction, but doesn’t leave a long lasting impression.
60’s throwback pop is a seemingly popular genre to mine these days. There is nothing inherently wrong with the songs, except for the fact that it all sounds a little too familiar. It’s a fun homage that often strays dangerously close to mimicry. However at 27 minutes, it’s over before you can accuse it of not being original enough. That being said, if you don’t take the album too seriously it can be quite a bit of fun that never overstays its welcome. Adam Green has written all of the lyrics, and while not as crazy (and sometimes nonsensical) as his anti-folk solo efforts, they have a certain amount of quirkiness and charm to them.
In stark contrast to many of the deadpan lyrics, Binki’s near flawless vocals do not allude to them being anything more than completely serious. It’s so effective that you might not take notice of the austere lyrics upon the first listen. Many songs feature only Binki on vocals, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. On the tracks that Green does sing on, his masculine vocals, while harmonizing well with Shapiro’s, also have a sarcastic tone to them, that give a not too subtle wink and a nod to the lyrics.
Many aspects of love are examined over the course of the album. “Pleasantries,” examines relationships that look fine on the outside, but upon closer examination, are completely empty and each person is too nice to end it. “Don’t ask for more” examines a seemingly one sided relationship where one person just takes and takes, without giving much back. While it all sounds a little too similar, the quirky chemistry of the pair somehow grows on you upon each listen.