Lou Reed once quipped, “I do Lou Reed better than anybody,” but Adam Green comes in a close second on Minor Love. A step up from the stylistically conflicted Sixes & Sevens, Green’s sixth album finds the onetime Moldy Peaches member seguing into maturity, with an album that appropriates the baritone vocals and early-‘70s production style of Transformer (as well as Reed’s street hood image, for the cover). Talk-sung ditties are delivered with charming apathy and recorded as stripped-down but glossy arrangements -- much like Bowie and Ronson’s instrumentation on Transformer -- with seven accompanying musicians helping Green to create a smooth, snappy vibe. Considering that Green helped pen Juno's whimsical serenade “Anyone But You,” it’s only expected that there are some ridiculous lyrics thrown into the mix (“Mind your pubis” and “You were the flatulent one,” for instance) -- but even so, compared to his earlier releases, Minor Love is less likely to get filed away as a novelty. The fingerpicked minor-chord ballad “Boss Inside” shows a dark side of Green as he edges away from Jonathan Richman drollness and shows off a Leonard Cohen-esque earnestness in a morose tale of an abusive alcoholic. It's a harsh slice of life and a big turnabout from poop jokes, but honest-sounding stories provide a refreshing sense of balance. When he takes the other route as a smug wisecrackin' bad boy, with lines like "I've been too awful to ever be thoughtful" in the gentle opener, "Breaking Locks," he's in full swing. Likewise, “Give Them a Token,” “Buddy Bradley,” and “What Makes Him Act So Bad” rank among his best. These are the types of tunes that are simple, instant, and irresistible. Bonus points for keeping all 14 tracks under the three-minute mark.
Minor Love Review
by Jason Lymangrover