Hey, Jude sounds a little Beatles-esque, and
although Iím not a fan of those mop top Liverpool natives,
I was quite taken with Judeís introspective third album
King Of Yesterday. With an incredibly beautiful voice
and catchy melodies, Judeís King is gloriously regal
-- at least for a 12-day recording session.
In his liner notes, Jude writes, "This records was a
non-stop party. We started on a Monday night, crammed into
a pool house studio with two guitars, three amps, a bass,
and our backs against the wall. Over the next two weeks friends
kept stopping by to throw down parts, sit in on drums, freestyle,
or mix a track. We hardly noticed the work for all the laughs
until, late one morning, we all looked up and realized we
were done Ė there were no more notes to play."
Sounds like his album came easily enough, which makes me
even more impressed with the finished product. Apparently,
the man has mad skills.
Jude grew up outside of Boston, the son of a folk singer
father who, of course, encouraged Judeís artsy side. During
high school, Jude developed his vocal skills in a cappella
groups, and in college he developed his intellect with a Philosophy
Afterwards, the soul-searching philosopher moved to (of all
places) Los Angeles. After a string of odd jobs, Jude finally
managed to put together a demo, which led to the release of
his first album 430 N. Harper Avenue on the indie label
Fish of Death in 1997. That same year, Jude was snatched up
by Maverick Records. In 1998, Jude then released his follow
up No One Is Really Beautiful, and his single "I
Know" was a successful hit on the City Of Angels
King has a more polished sound from his raw and mostly
acoustic 430 N. Harper Avenue and No One Is Really
Beautiful. Jude freely admits on his official Web site
that the album is definitely more commercial than his previous
efforts. "On my last record, I was holding onto my art
more tightly. I was more precious, and, you now, I lived in
a van. This time I decided to kiss the machine a little. [And
Iíve found] it likes to be kissed."
You should know, however, that, of course, it wasnít that
easy for Jude. Previous to the 12-day jam session with his
buddies (too and a budget of ten grand), Jude had spent eight
months recording what he calls a "deeply personal project"
of 32 songs Ė a demi-opera, if you will Ė called Canít
Stop My Feet! Letís just say the label didnít likey much,
and he succumbed to the pressures to record a new set. Like
he said, he was living in a van! Who can blame him?
The album begins with its title track "King Of Yesterday".
This "silly little love song" sets the gentle, romantic,
and whimsical tone of the rest of the album. Though "King"
starts off slowly with charming guitar chords and vocals,
it soon speeds up for the chorus, "Iím the king of yesterday.
Why donít you staaaaaaaaaaay?"
Many of his songs like "Everythingís All Right (I Think
Itís Time)", "The Not So Pretty Princess" and
"Sit Ups" follow similar formulas to "King".
Even his cover of the Bread song "Everything I
Own" has that slow but upbeat chorus quality. And, you
know what? It works for him, so I say bravo.
His music showcases his wonderfully delicate voice, especially
when he hits high notes in songs like "Everything I Own",
"Red Room" and "Indian Lover". I also
found humor in many of his songs like in "Sit Ups",
which had a totally facetious lyrics almost (but not quite)
as ridiculous as the Moldy Peaches. Example: Do
I have to do sit ups if I want to be a rock starÖYou look
sexy. You look hot. Is that really all weíve got. In the end,
you pretend youíre my friend, but youíre not. Even in
the slower "Indian Lover" thereís a funny line where
he sings I will be your Indian lover boy. Feel my joy.
-- Jin Moon
- King Of Yesterday
- Everythingís All Right
- Red Room
- The Not So Pretty Princess
- Everything I Own
- Sit Ups
- Indian Lover
- Oh Boy
- I Do
- I Will Not Die
- Teenage Girlfriend
- King Of Yesterday (Radio Edit)
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