Zach Adams: Songs For Future Girl

Note: This review is from 2012

Review by Steve Bennett

Mild-mannered Zack Adams’s whimsical ballads of heartache past aren’t without their appeal, but the low-key humour is often so flimsy as to be transparent. The result is a meekly amusing amble through familiar tales of relationship grief from a performer who’s appealing, but underpowered.

After being dumped by the girl he was sure was The One, our delicate, geeky twentysomething hero decided to look back at all his past romantic entanglements, from his primary school sweetheart onwards. Each gets a brief summary followed by a song – and not always one of his own composition. Down-tempo versions of Bob Dylan, Beyonce, Third Eye Blind and even Billy Ray Cyrus get an airing over the course of the hour.

Adams’s own ballads can be categorised as ‘nice’, with wryly amusing themes that never threaten to break out into the hilarious. He’s a useful guitarist and melodic singer, but nothing exciting; while the lyrics aren’t humorous enough to benefit from being underplayed. He’s only a gnat’s crotchet away from being another earnest singer-songwriter strumming away in the corner of some hipster bar.

Best of his unassuming songs is probably A Girl Who Looks Like You, which tells its own story, or Apology Song, dedicated to a girl whose idiot boyfriend broke up with her because Adams mock-serenaded her from the stage.

He occasionally deviates from his romantic theme – perhaps makeweight routines from his normal repertoire – with mixed results. A made-up jingle to encourage kids to eat more apricots is simple but effective, a joke audio commentary is inventive and funny, but a Kids Say The Darndest Things riff seems misplaced.

A twee ending telling us to find joy in the simplest things is an apt end to a show that puts sweet and endearing well above being funny. To criticise too much would be like punching a puppy, but Adams’ gentle likeability only gets him so far.

Reviewed at the Melbourne Comedy Festival, April 2011

Review date: 9 Jan 2012
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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