Adem, 'Takes' (Domino)

4
Takes
Critical Mass
Label: Domino

by Matthew Perpetua

This Turkish-English folksinger's album of cover versions is an exceptionally well-curated disc with intriguing selections penned by Low, Yo La Tengo, and Tortoise. But despite his good taste, Adem's competent yet generally uninspired acoustic arrangements make him sound like a coolly ambitious street busker. In many cases, his unremarkable voice is an insurmountable stumbling block -- covers of distinctive songs by Björk, PJ Harvey, and Smashing Pumpkins come off as watered-down and generic.

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