Rough 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"
"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).