Adam Green - Sixes and Sevens

"I’m convinced that Adam can pull off almost anything."


Now here’s an album with an apt title. You see, I’m all at sixes and sevens myself as I’m really not sure how best to describe this to you. Sixes and Sevens is a big leap forward for Adam Green in many ways and yet it feels like something has been lost in the process.


At first listen, you may be forgiven for thinking one of two things a) this sounds closer to Garfield than his other albums and b) he didn’t have enough money to record the album with a full band. Forgiven, I say, because you’d be totally wrong on both counts and once you give it a few more listens you’ll figure out just how wrong you are. The band themselves are there in full force, it’s just deceptive. Yes, the arrangements are a bit sparse compared to some of the stuff on Gemstones or Jacket Full Of Danger but hell, you get female backing vocals and all sorts of stuff on here, if you listen carefully enough. Stylistically it’s all over the place, but that doesn’t bother me as, after listening to You Get Lucky – which is the only piece of music in the entire world that uses pan pipes and is actually worth listening to - I’m convinced that Adam can pull off almost anything. If he wants to go disco, I’ll dance. If he wants to write a hoe down, I’ll get the spurs out. I’m on board, whatever. What’s weird about Sixes and Sevens is that, while the lyrics are fantastic and the arrangements are so strong you just have to say that Adam is becoming a master of his craft, it’s just not as instantly likeable as his earlier albums were.


There’s nothing on here that will make you grin from ear to ear as much as Emily or Crackhouse Blues have in the past, but what is here is all quality stuff. It just doesn’t make you smile in quite the same way. Sixes and Sevens is an exceptionally strong album and quite possibly his most mature work to date, but some of the charm that drew you to him in the first place is missing. On his earlier albums I always got the sense that Adam was being crude just for the sheer hell of it. His lyrics are so playful I’ve always had the impression that he’s completely in love with the English language because it sounds so good and nothing else. Making sense never seemed to matter and that’s what made him so hilarious and instantly loveable. Sixes and Sevens is something different, it’s the sound of Adam Green growing up. You’ll have to decide for yourselves whether you think that’s a good thing or not.


Words : Damian Leslie