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Smash Palace
     

Smash Palace

by Richard Julian
 
It used to be that if an artist was billed as a "singer/songwriter" you could pretty accurately predict what his or her material would sound like: mostly acoustic, more wordy than musical, the lyrics self-consciously literate and/or solipsistic, sometimes insightful but often merely clever. Richard Julian does a pretty good job of

Overview

It used to be that if an artist was billed as a "singer/songwriter" you could pretty accurately predict what his or her material would sound like: mostly acoustic, more wordy than musical, the lyrics self-consciously literate and/or solipsistic, sometimes insightful but often merely clever. Richard Julian does a pretty good job of blowing away such grim expectations -- he's a rocker, and he's also a songwriter of rare invention and charm. You can trip over your own invention and charm, of course, and he doesn't always pull it off. But he sure does pull it off a lot, and he does it mostly by emphasizing the music. The James Brown horn line that opens "Big Big World" and the jazz flute that gives a vague whiff of beatnik jazziness to "Pussycat," both reveal a man who understands that the words can't come first. Not that the words are disappointing -- he's able to redeem the threadbare conceit of a "restless sea" by couching it in the lines "This continent's just an island/If you don't get too specific/All roads lead to the restless sea." He also points out to his dream bride that the person complaining about their August wedding is from her side of the family, which is the kind of nice homely detail that makes the difference in a song about a wedding. And the funky, jumpy music gets better every time you hear it.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/12/1999
Label:
BLACKBIRD
UPC:
0643443800525
catalogNumber:
38005

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Richard Julian   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Drums,Glockenspiel,Bass Guitar,Electric Piano,Background Vocals,Vibes,Toy Piano
Marshall Crenshaw   Electric Guitar
George Bradfute   Electric Guitar,Slide Guitar
Jim Hoke   Clarinet,Flute,Saxophone
Viktor Krauss   Upright Bass,Bowed Double Bass
Greg Morrow   Bongos,Drums
Chris Carmichael   Violin
Rebecca Martin   Background Vocals
Ross Rice   Bass,Piano,Drums,Marimbas,Hammond Organ,Tambourine,Background Vocals,Moog Bass
David Henry   Cello
Mickey Grimm   Conga,Drums,Marimbas,Tambourine,Triangle,Cajon,Hand Drums
James Nixon   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Jim Hoke   Horn Arrangements
Brad Jones   Producer
Richard Julian   Horn Arrangements
David Henry   Engineer
Mickey Grimm   Sound Effects
Elijah Shaw   Engineer
William Lehman   Executive Producer

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