Archive for April 15th, 2006

April 15, 2006

ADAM GREEN – Nat King Cole (CD EP)

Nat King Cole CoverRough Trade RTRADSCD308: 1st May 2006
1. Nat King Cole
"I got a hole in my barrel, Cheryl, she left me out in the cold"
2. Crying, Waiting, Hoping
"You're the one I love, and I think about you all the time"
3. Cupid
"Cupid draw back your bow, and let your arrow go"
4. Bleeding Heart (02/15/96)
"You're a broken book, a thieving crook, you stole my heart with just one look"

I've recently read that Adam Green is treated like some kind of messiah in Germany. The thing that's always surprised me is that he isn't treated like a god everywhere. For me his singles are an event because he always backs them with a few superb covers. In the past he has done 'Kokomo', 'I'll Be Your Mirror' and most famously 'What A Waster' (To name a few). His cover of 'Born To Run' got me into Bruce Springsteen, and for that I thank him.

On his last album I detected the influence of The Doors in the music. With 'Nat King Cole' their influence can instead be felt in his vocals. Just compare the way he says, "Maître D’ gettin' fired" with the way Jim Morrison says "Light my fire". This didn't appeal as immediately as previous singles. It's a mix of acoustic guitars and oriental strings. The drums in the background gradually build the tension and on the third or fourth listen I was in love with this song. I love the way it goes all crazy at the end when he shouts "Break it down now".

'Crying, Waiting, Hoping' is an old Buddy Holly song. I found it oddly striking because at one point when he sings "Crying" it sounds like "cRYAN" (Ryan being my first name). It's got a lovely, understated and short organ solo two thirds through. 'Cupid' is a cover of Sam Cooke's classic love song. This song perfectly suits Adam Green's incredible deep voice and he drags every drop of emotion out of it. I've been singing this under my breath all day. These two songs will be loved by you, your mum and probably even your gran.

If the numbers after 'Bleeding Heart' are a recording date it would pre-date even his Moldy Peaches stuff. It has a lo-fi charm but doesn't have the crafted pop feel of the version previously released as the B-side to 'Dance With Me'. What is interesting is that it's clear that he has always been writing amazing songs because this is one of his best (And that's saying something).

I've included a link to the brilliant Iggy Pop like early song, 'Baby's Gonna Die Tonight' (Although it doesn't sound like anything he's done since).

Baby's Gonna Die Tonight mp3

Adam Green Website / Adam Green MySpace Page

April 15, 2006

WHIRLWIND HEAT – Reagan (CD EP)

Reagan CoverBrille BRILEP03CD: 10th April 2006
1. Reagan
"And if I could change it all, I don't think I even would"
2. Memory
"Losing my emotions one by one, sold my thoughts to a pregnant nun"
3. Macho Man
"Waiting for a people to decide for you, complaining 'bout the way that they've helped you"
4. I Fucked Up Reagan
"I've learned so much from you, the romance betrayl too"

'Reagan' strikes you right away because it's so much smoother than Whirlwind Heat's previous efforts. It's got that African influence of some of Talking Heads' best stuff. The drums, bass guitar and some other instrument (Whose name escapes me) combine to make an irresistibly funky sound. I remember at nursery school when we'd sit down and joyfully make music with Triangles, Glockenspiels, Maracas and such. If that scene were in a Hollywood movie it would sound like this (Instead of the dreadful din that we actually produced). The lyrics are simple yet effective in describing a relationship gone wrong.

'Memory' sounds like fantastic Californian band 'Cake', after a serious mental breakdown. 'Macho Man' is like two men that are clutching their copies of the Guardian and the Daily Mail, and having an argument with Microphones. 'I Fucked Up Reagan' is a short and sweet acoustic guitar and kazoo demo of 'Reagan'.

I vividly recall being thrilled by the ferocious cacophony that 'Whirlwind Heat' produced when I saw them supporting The White Stripes on the Elephant tour. With 'Reagan' they've succeeded in channelling that energy into something that could and should have a wider appeal. This is a huge leap forward.

Meat Packer mp3

Whirlwind Heat Website / Whirlwind Heat MySpace Page