Published Apr 13, 2016Since his early days as one half of the Moldy Peaches, Adam Green has walked a perilously fine line between sly singer-songwriter homage and jokey parody. Recent years, though, have found him inching towards sincerity. 2010's Modern Love was an excellent, mostly serious set of '70s rock, and his 2012 collection of duets with Binki Shapiro was an underrated, earnest gem that recalled the collaborative heyday of Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra. Green's latest record is the soundtrack to his magnum opus; a crowd-sourced feature length film called Adam Green's Aladdin, written, directed by and starring Green himself. Spoiler alert: the film is completely bonkers.
The Aladdin soundtrack LP features 13 original songs, interspersed with some hilarious spoken word interludes from the film. The Aladdin film raises some big ideas about the ubiquity of technology in the modern world, but these songs (on their own) don't really do much to shed light on any of the concepts in the film. A '70s vibe pervades the bulk of these catchy songs, with a healthy helping of the truly bizarre lyrics that have become an Adam Green trademark, but there is no real thematic meat on these bones. You get the feeling that Green could toss off a solid collection of songs seemingly at will, and a number of these songs could take a place amongst Green's best, but for every excellent track here like "Life In A Videogame" or "Fix My Blues," there's a jokey number like the Partridge Family-esque "Interested in Music" or "Do Some Blow" that makes you long for Green's more sincere side.
Love it or hate it, Adam Green's Aladdin (the film) is a surreal, unforgettable experience. As a standalone collection of songs, the Aladdin LP doesn't reach the heights of his recent recorded output, but it's an interesting companion piece that will please the Green faithful and fans of the film. (Independent)