‘the soundtrack to some 1960s TV special’
It seems as though sleazy drunk Adam Green has finally met his match, in the form of Little Joy‘s breathy seductress Binki Shapiro and the resulting record is a strong collection of songs with just the right running time.
Green has stated in interviews previously his love for Serge Gainsbourg and you can guess, in essence, that the Frenchmen’s duets with his harem of bombshells are the inspiration behind this duet album. But in practice, it’s much more ‘Johnny and June’. At no point do you feel that Shapiro is dancing to Adam Green’s tune, but instead this is two equally creative people putting together a record.
In fact, part of the beauty of this album is that Adam knows exactly when to play ‘second fiddle’ and let Binki take centre stage. Her vocals are soft but sultry and Green’s slurred croons provide a nice contrasting harmony.
These ten songs resemble the dialogue of comfortable lovers; sometimes knowing, sometimes desperately in-love and sometimes heartbroken. On Casanova, Binki Shapiro refers to Adam as the ‘casanova to the mentally ill’ and it’s this kind of back-and-forth that makes this more Jackson than Je T’aime. It’s not adoration, it’s a battle of wits.
Production-wise, the album is just enough. Spidery organ chimes, a sexy brass section and well judged reverb make the whole record feel as though it’s the soundtrack to some 1960s TV special. You’re almost waiting for the polite applause of the studio audience between each track. It’s retro-fitted, but not so aggressively that you say ‘this make brain think this was old’ before slapping your computer against your forehead.
To sum it up, Adam Green & Binki Shapiro is an album where Adam’s ramblings are perfectly complimented by Shapiro’s own. A must-listen if you’re in love/out of love/recently separated/recently together. Either way you’re laughing/crying.
Listen to a track here.