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Albums Of The Week: Various Artists | Moping In Style: A Tribute To Adam Green

You might not know the former Moldy Peaches singer-songwriter — but you will definitely recognize many of the artists covering his wonderfully unique tunes here.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Moping In Style is a two-disc tribute to the eclectic, eccentric and exceptional singer-songwriter Adam Green, who first rose to prominence as one-half of the irrepressible anti-folk duo The Moldy Peaches with Kimya Dawson.

Featuring 26 songs from Green’s extensive post-Peaches recording career — he released his 11th solo album in 2022 — this sweeping double album features Regina Spektor, Father John Misty, Devendra Banhart, The Libertines, Jenny Lewis, Sean Ono Lennon, Frankie Cosmos, The Lemonheads and many other familiar names whose contributions are a testament to Green’s position as a fixture of indie-rock over the last two decades.

The first preview single was a new rendition of That Fucking Feeling, the title track from Green’s most recent album, performed by none other than Sean Ono Lennon. His version shines a unique light on the song, capturing its forlorn mystery. That Fucking Feeling displays Lennon’s musicianship and production talent as he navigates the intricate layers of Green’s lyrical narrative, delivering a rendition that is both heartfelt and haunting.

Elsewhere, Ben Kweller’s rendition of the early classic Her Father And Her goes all out in its production, transforming a lo-fi folk ballad into full-on power pop Even so, with his tender vocal chops, Kweller conveys the nuance and feeling of the original track. Kweller and Green have been close friends lo these many years, so it’s not hard to believe that Kweller has some hidden insight into lines like: “Pardon me anyone, where is the nearest shore? We’re all in this together and the police are at the door. Someone do my laundry or smash me through the floor to that tropical vacation buried underneath the store.” Ultimately, his version of Her Father And Her reflects their decades-long friendship, along with the respect of one songwriter to another.

Speaking of friends, Vincent Delerm’s take on Friends of Mine reimagines the title track of Adam’s seminal 2003 album in the timeless tradition of Serge Gainsbourg. Not exaclty a straight ‘cover’ of the song as much as it is a Francophied chanson, this beautifully arranged rendition elegantly translates the wistfullness of the original. Complete with the conversation style man-and-women-back-and-forth that Gainsbourg perfected with his many muses, Delerm’s Friends of Mine is expertly deft and right on the money.

Known and loved as a generational talent, Devendra Banhart lends his eerie and subtle musicality to Pay The Toll, a song from Green’s 2006 album Jacket Full of Danger. Whereas the original track evoked the classic ’70s rock balladeering of Bruce Springsteen and Steely Dan, Banhart’s version is intimate in the way that only he can be. His unique voice is the like a stone skipping on the surface of a lake, its haunting echo like a song sung in deep dark cave. Longtime freinds, Green and Banhart go way back to the early days of 2000s indie-rock, and both have careers in the visual arts as well as music. Banhart’s inclusion on Moping in Style was inevitable, and his version of Pay the Toll is one of its standout tracks.”

 

©ronjaburkard
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