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Adam Green Returns with 'Sixes & Sevens'

Singer-songwriter Adam Green was in his teens when he co-founded the cult-favorite anti-folk band The Moldy Peaches. The group went on hiatus in 2004, though it's recently performed together since its songs were featured prominently in the film Juno. Now 26, Green has just released his fifth solo CD, titled Sixes & Sevens.

Sixes and sevens is a term for disarray, and it's the perfect name for Green's latest effort. His genre-jumping is dizzying, from smartly arranged pop to big rock songs laced with idiosyncratic instruments to call-and-response folk-blues to that tribal flute heard on street corners in every city. One minute, Green is still the indie rocker who used to wear a Robin Hood outfit onstage; the next he's Bruce Springsteen with jaw harp and a gospel choir.

Green has long taken the stream-of-consciousness approach to writing lyrics, though he's matured considerably from his dark and dirty nursery-rhyme days with The Moldy Peaches. On Sixes & Sevens, he's the king of knock-out couplets, firing them off so fast, it takes repeated listens to hear most of them. Green is like Leonard Cohen with ADD, dashing from one observation to the next — sometimes funny, sometimes profound, and sometimes just obscure.

With 20 songs crammed into roughly 48 minutes, the record feels really long and sort of unfocused. And yet Green's songs are melodic and imaginative, and they hit all the right touchstones without being unoriginal. Green doesn't dress up in costumes anymore. Now, he sports different musical styles, and it's a much more convincing fit.

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Meredith Ochs