Album: Adam Green * * *
Minor Love (Rough Trade)
In terms of Noughties musical movements, few had less impact than anti-folk. It's hardly surprising it had such limited appeal, considering it was a genre that eschewed craft and production in favour of a sound that was as rough and ready as possible and favoured trivial subject matter above anything significant or profound. And no act epitomised the scene more than The Moldy Peaches.
One half of that band achieved wide recognition thanks to a film. Kimya Dawson's childlike songs resonated perfectly on the soundtrack from one of the best-loved US indie films of recent years, Juno, while the other half, Adam Green, ploughed a lonely furrow in hipsterville.
To put it mildly, Green's output is an acquired taste. Sometimes you get the impression that the more half-baked an idea, the better. Yet, his last album, Sixes & Sevens, showed signs that he was embracing a more conventional approach to songwriting, and that's definitely the case on this short but resonant collection.
With songs inspired by the demise of his marriage last year, there's a more melancholic, introspective mood than hitherto. Okay, it's not exactly the sort of soul-baring emotion that was found on Beck's break-up , Sea Change, but for Green it's sobering enough. And rather than spell out what's on his mind, the singer hints at his dejection.
Most of the songs hover around the two-minute mark, and some, such as Buddy Bradley, are perfectly constructed. Coupled with Green's crooning skills, there's plenty to impress here. Still, there are times where you wish he would develop his material a little more -- sometimes, less really is less.
Burn it: Buddy Bradley; Cigarette Burns Forever