Heartbreak has never sounded so sweet as when performed by multi-talented indie rockers Adam Green and Binki Shapiro on their album of duets, “Adam Green and Binki Shapiro.” The highly anticipated release explores the darker side of relationships. Its 10 tracks explore the themes of anxiety, melancholy and disappointment that appear when love reaches its expiration date.
One can’t help but recall popular duos of the past, such as Gainsbourg and Birkin or Sonny and Cher, while listening to “Adam Green and Binki Shapiro.” Yet Shapiro and Green’s collaboration stands apart thanks to its anti-love approach. With disheartened lyrics like, “Forgive my ugliness should I find out/something I don’t want to know about” permeating the album, “Adam Green and Binki Shapiro” is strikingly honest about the feelings we all experience following the end of a relationship.
The album has a decidedly ’60s feel, drawing influence from the bossa-nova and folk rock genres of that era. Though it is a fantastic record overall, several tracks stand out from the pack for their particular depth and insight with lyrics and instrumentation. “Just To Make Me Feel Good,” set to a charming, drum-laden rhythm, provides two perspectives lamenting failed relationships in an interesting back-and-forth. “Pleasantries” and “Casanova” are also excellent tracks, and they demonstrate Green and Shapiro’s musical versatility.
Shapiro compensates for her disappointingly small vocal presence on her last album, “Little Joy,” by dominating the majority of the songs on “Adam Green and Binki Shapiro” with satisfying results. Many tracks feature her honeyed crooning intertwined with Green’s resounding baritone, which reflects the unique dual perspective of the album’s subject matter.
Given the many hats that Shapiro and Green both wear, it is unlikely that a second album will come along soon, if at all. However, the timelessness of “Adam Green and Binki Shapiro” should keep fans satisfied for years to come.
Alexandria Ethridge is music editor. Email her at [email protected]