Dork Radio
Now playing:
In the mag...
Featuring Bombay Bicycle Club, The Big Moon, Soccer Mommy and a whole load more!
Order a copy
February 2020
Album review

Adam Green – Engine of Paradise

If ‘Engine of Paradise’ is our future, then it might not be so bleak after all.
Label: 30th Century Records
Released: 6th September 2019
Rating: ★★★★
Adam Green – Engine of Paradise
Published: 5:13 pm, September 03, 2019Words: Liam Konemann.

Adam Green knows what he likes. Since his days as a Moldy Peach, his cartoon universe has worshipped the same holy 80s idols: like Garfield, Mario, the humble Rubix Cube. His off-kilter baritone is also largely unchanged, and aside from the addition of concepts like blockchain as technology has expanded around us so are the style and content of his lyrics. But this is not what you’d call stagnation. If it ain’t broke, dear Reader, you don’t go messing about with it.

Adam’s tenth solo album ‘Engine of Paradise’ explores the relationship between humans and machines with playful eccentricity. In this reality, the afterlife is a harddrive we will eventually be uploaded into, and the world around us is constructed of papier-mache. Building on this chicken-wire framework, lead single ‘Freeze My Love’ riffs on the state of online romance, while the title track envisions a utopia of dismantled mobile phones and whirring engines.

‘Engine of Paradise’ seems to occupy a blocky, primary coloured world, but there is an underlying seriousness at play. On ‘Escape From This Brain’ Adam fronts up to anxiety with surprising emotional vulnerability, while ‘Cheating On A Stranger’ takes the opposite ground, presenting a spiritual detachment that is its own kind of risk.

Adam Green delights in the uncanny and the unexpected, so ‘Engine of Paradise’ has a few more tricks up its sleeve. The best of these is, of course, Florence Welch’s guest vocals. It’s an unusual call to have the actual Flo on your album and not ask her to do a verse or two of her own, but (you may recall) Adam Green knows what works for Adam Green. In any case, having Florence do backing vocals is a bit like getting Jimi Hendrix to play rhythm guitar. With her vocal contributions, album closer ‘Reasonable Man’ goes from being a sweetly plaintive musing on oddity, technology and identity to something more staggeringly cinematic. If ‘Engine of Paradise’ is our future, then it might not be so bleak after all.

Give all this a try

Drug Store Romeos: "Trip-hop is an underutilised style"
Live At Leeds

Drug Store Romeos: "Trip-hop is an underutilised style"

Dream pop trip-hop Drug Store Romeos have just inked a record deal with Fiction Records.
Band picks: Mystery Jets recommend who to see at Live At Leeds 2020
Live At Leeds

Band picks: Mystery Jets recommend who to see at Live At Leeds 2020

Jack Flanagan is here to help.
Do Nothing's funk and disco playlist, feat. Aretha Franklin, Kindness, Parliament and more
Live At Leeds

Do Nothing's funk and disco playlist, feat. Aretha Franklin, Kindness, Parliament and more

Guitarist Kasper Sandstrom pulls together some of his funk and disco faves, inspired by his dad.
DMA's look ahead to Live At Leeds: "To come back and headline is unreal"
Live At Leeds

DMA's look ahead to Live At Leeds: "To come back and headline is unreal"

The band also give us the low-down on their new album.
Like this? Subscribe to Dork and get every issue delivered direct to your door anywhere on the planet.
CONTACT PRIVACY ADVERTISE

© 2018 The Bunker Publishing