Adam Green & Binki Shapiro - Adam Green & Binki Shapiro

Less Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, more She & Him - only, well, better.

Label: Decca/Rounder

Rating: 6

Let’s not start by comparing this album to the short-lived, erratically brilliant, often rubbish output of Adam Green’s previous pairing, The Moldy Peaches. Not only is this duo something completely different - no surprise, given Green’s solo output following the ‘Peaches’ split - but let’s also not ignore Binki Shapiro.

Because it’s the Little Joy singer who’s the real star of the show, whether you know it yet or not. She takes centre stage on the majority of the songs, her voice sharing the tone and depth of Karen O at her more subdued. The songs she sings, Green accompanying with this increasingly old-school baritone, are less the profane sort of the ‘Peaches, less Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, more She & Him - only, well, better.

Together the pair make beautiful music over lo-fi guitars, more low-budget copies of 50s rock ‘n roll records than the better-produced garage rock of Green’s recent break-up/breakdown ‘Minor Love’. The highlight is ‘Casanova’ (‘to the mentally ill’), with keyboards straight from a Beach House song, some Ronettes-style backing vocals and a DIY Roy Orbison guitar solo in the middle.

It’s nice, if a little lightweight. Musically, it’s less of a full-blown, well-rounded love affair, and closer to a weekend dalliance without any actual dallying, more lots of blushing, hands brushing, eyes catching. Fondly remembered, warm - but that’s about it. ‘I’ve been looking for some passion for my actions,’ sings Green on ‘Pleasantries’. If only he’d found it.