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Adam Green and Binki Shapiro’s Self Titled Lp

Posted on the 31 January 2013 by Thewildhoneypie @thewildhoneypie

Within the indie music world, boy/girl collaboration projects are nothing new, but whenever they occur there’s always a sense of intrigue. So when news broke that solo artist Adam Green (on hiatus from previous outfit Moldy Peaches with Kimya Dawson) and Binki Shapiro of Little Joy were working together, I was more than a little curious about what this pairing could conjure up.

One thing that immediately stands out about this duo is how they sound together vocally, their voices both contrasting and complementing one another. Green’s more bass-orientated tones add a rich warmth to most of the tracks while Shapiro takes on melodies with her higher range, opening up a separate lane for the listener. But the structures to which both vocals are applied fall victim to the same fate as the record’s instrumentation: although admittedly nice in the moment, there really isn’t an awful lot that leaves a mark or lingers in your memory once the album closes out.

The pair have opted for a pretty straightforward pop sound, reminiscent of the ’60s, with a sprinkling of indietronic timbre here and there. But despite a collection of nice sounds and a partnership that glimmers faintly with potential, the overall execution of the duo’s first outing falls a little flat. The delivery is simply not strong enough, there’s no real interplay between the two, and musically the record is comprised of just a few dimensions that dont really do enough to excite.

The pair have chosen a good route to travel down, and I think they’re in the right area. But they also need to detach themselves somewhat from their influences. They often seem to rely a little too heavily on the styles that inspire and forget to shape and mold their references.

Album number one from Green and Shapiro is decent enough — however, judging by their previous work, they are capable of much better than “decent.” I hope that if this particular union continues to move forward, they themselves will realize that.

2 1/2 stars

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