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Adam Green
GEMSTONES
(Rough Trade)

"Iím a very funny boy, but I know what I just said," Adam Green asserts on Gemstonesí title track. Thatís Greenís lyrical approach in a nutshell ó to entertain, confuse, and, of course, be politically incorrect in the process. Itís all here: crude sex jokes, stereotypes, and shout-outs to prescription pills. This former Moldy Peach never tries to be serious, but a line like "Iím in trouble like a dirty stinking Jew" is bound to offend ó which is exactly what Green wants. It gets worse with "Carolina," who has "red bricks" falling from her . . . well, you know.

Some of the surprise stems from the music itself, since acoustic folk guitar doesnít usually bring us songs about Dunkiní Donuts, wingmen, and crack houses. And though you can argue over where the line between humorous and offensive falls in these lyrics, "Choke on a Cock," Greenís attempt to get political, falls flat. "I would dance on NBC and say George Bush shook hands with me/Then Iíd go choke on a cock," he sings emotionlessly. This one brief dose of political satire comes out of nowhere and never returns; most of the time, Green is happy to lampoon safe targets who are totally so mainstream and uncool. That said, "Gemstones," "Over the Sunrise," and "Emily" match popcraft with actual wit and plenty of cheesy synth. In fact, the worst songs on Gemstones ó "Whoís Your Boyfriend" and "Losing on Tuesday" ó are the serious ones. It seems that Green saves his best punch lines for his best songs ó or maybe itís the other way around.

BY MEGAN BELL


Issue Date: March 4 - 10, 2005
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