Monday, May 15, 2017

Jude-No One Is Really Beautiful (1998)


Hmm; that title gets you thinking, doesn't it? It's just a few of the wise words that generate the listener's thought processes on the second album by this fine singer/songwriter. You'll hear them upon taking in what became one of my favorite tracks: "Charlie Says", where he offers that people are just mediocre models-of-the-hour types. Songs about other people and how they've influenced him, in fact, turned out to the main theme here, and Jude has a lot of interesting ideas in his expressions about every one of the characters he introduces your ears to. On the acoustic guitar-driven opener, "You Mama You", it's his mother whom he attributes his own character to in his warm reflections about the past. On the trippy funk tune, "Brad And Suzy", it's two fictional lovers from a movie whom he longs to be one of, hoping to find his 'Suzy' that he could love and hate just the same; the conversational, monologue style of this song is an excellent way of presenting the story. "George" tells a different story, one that has rather sad undertones beneath the quiet, soothing acoustic guitar-driven music. My latest 'Music Surprise Of The Day' came in the form of Jude's tribute to the late legendary funkmaster, Rick James, on this album's very lively fourth track. I love his delivery of the colorful lyrics, with the best part being the final line from the chorus when he says, 'Rick James was the original superfreak', followed by the hard beats of the non-vocal arrangement. Celebrities are paid their respectful due again, in a way, on "I'm Sorry Now". On this beauty of a song, he appoints himself to once being a combination of the late soul legend, Marvin Gaye, and the fictional movie hero, James Bond, with his lofty-voiced delivery of 'I wish, you wish, I wish you love' sticking to me before long. "I Do": those two simple words usually are spoken in happy matrimony, but the ironic twist on this second written beauty of Jude's is that he isn't the one getting married; rather, he's looking from the outside as the lady is formally wed to another men while he makes his own vows to wish her a happy life and to stay away from her forever . Along similar lines perhaps, is "The Asshole Song", a breakup song like I've never heard before. It's candid, it's down-to-earth and it's emotional, all rolled into one, and I even like the epic spectacle it becomes with the majestic horns that give the music a boost in the later movements of the song. "Battered Broken": I like this particular mellow acoustic guitar piece because it demonstrates how he has such a great way with words. 'Only so much I can give without return': a phrase that I myself can surely relate to. Then a song that I like because the trippy, upbeat funk rhythm makes the music fun and because it's embedded with a sheath irony also: "Out Of L.A.". Totally wasn't expecting the lyrics to be about actually wanting to move away from California's largest city, seeing as the West Coast lifestyle is craved by so many. When I stopped to think about it, this song fits the theme projected by this album's title perfectly, because maybe Jude is saying that L.A. and California aren't really as beautiful as people would like to make it seem to be:

1. You Mama You
2. Charlie Says
3. I'm Sorry Now
4. Rick James
5. Battered Broken
6. I Do
7. Prophet
8. Out Of L.A.
9. I Know
10. She Gets The Feeling
11. George
12. Brad And Suzy
13. The Asshole Song

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