Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Adam Balbo: Big Kid Now (2008)
I could really go for a cup of coffee
Adam Balbo, a folk singin’ bluesman from San Francisco, California has recently released his new album/EP Big Kid Now and I must say I’m a little disappointed.
Big Kid Now begins with a lot of promise on the title track springing forth with light drumming, springy guitar and Adam’s unique gravely deadpan vocals uttering clever jokes a mile a minute, “You have a heart; it's in your chest/On Tuesdays, you put on your Sunday best/You can use a fork; chopsticks, too/Knives, ice cream scoopers, & spoons/You take three times one; divide five by two/You know what Brian Boitano would do.”
After that song, I started to lose interest. “The Snakeman” delicately steals the melody from Bob Dylan’s “Love Minus Zero/No Limit” as does the slightly ponderous “Stain On My Shirt.” The former might be redeeming if he didn’t sound so tired.
And that’s how most of Big Kid Now sounds like, tired. On the almost unbearable “Monkey Goes To Breakfast,” I swear all the musicians including Adam fall asleep. The organ sounds straight out of Sunday school and the drums are dull and unimaginative.
“16-Bar Blues Love Song” stirs the pot back up a bit if it weren’t so banal and ultimately as formulaic as the title suggests.
Actually I kind of like “Stain On My Shirt,” a duet of sorts, Adam’s deadpan vocals shared by an equally deadpan female singer responding to an insubstantial incident involving ketchup manages to reach out further than its scope. It closes the album nicely, but it took some time before I began to enjoy it.
Adam Balbo has a unique voice and shows lyrical promise on Big Kid Now, but I wish he’d wake up and put a little passion into all of it.
Adam Balbo-"Big Kid Now"
Adam Balbo on Myspace!