thu 07/12/2023

Album: Julian Lennon - Jude | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Julian Lennon - Jude

Album: Julian Lennon - Jude

Here comes the son

Damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t, there’s no way for Julian Lennon to escape the longest of shadows – his parentage – so by naming this album Jude, he’s tackling it head on.

Or is he? The haunting cover image and name are the only direct reference. But, of course it’s literally in his DNA. Jude is his seventh album and first since 2011. To be honest, I thought it was all over after "Too Late for Goodbyes" (1984), so this is a pleasant surprise (and I didn’t know he’d been Grammy nominated). Firstly, his voice is much less "John-like" than in those days when he troubled the charts. He’s also a surprisingly strong songwriter (although he could work harder on his lyrics “the roads ahead are paved with gold” in "Breathe" is straight out of the Noel Gallagher school of penning the bleeding obvious). On the other hand, "Lucky Ones" is what Liam Gallagher would kill to have written.

The powerful opener, "Save Me", has shades of Radiohead permeating and is, for my money, the strongest song on the album. "Freedom" is Lennon-senior-esque in its message, as are many of the other tracks – there’s a lot of peace, love and anti-war rhetoric going on here ("Every Little Moment", "Love Never Dies" etc). "Not For One Night" – a simple guitar-led ballad – is the most reminiscent of his father, vocally. "Love Don’t Let Me Down" is perhaps a trifle obvious, "Round and Round Again" a catchy piece of pop. "Lucky Ones" opens with the line “everyone’s trying to find a new religion”. So far, so Oasis. But it redeems itself as a solid – if non-revolutionary – piece of power pop, with a catchy refrain. "Stay" is a genuinely heartfelt ballad, demonstrating what this Lennon probably does best.

"Gaia" featuring Paul Buchanan (The Blue Nile) and chanteuse Elissa Lauper ends the album on another note. Julian has been quoted as thinking this album has the feel of “a soundtrack to a film” and this is where that’s most pertinent. Lauper’s voice is heavenly, Buchanan’s as you’d expect (fans will be delighted), and Lennon brings it all together masterfully. Furrther collaborations might be a good way forward.

The album's press release reveals that “on September 10th, in celebration of his late mother, Cynthia Lennon’s birthday, he will be releasing Jude on vinyl.” His history is inescapable. His nature – introspective, seemingly melancholic, definitely melodic – something he finally appears to be able to celebrate rather than challenge.

There’s a lot of peace, love and anti-war rhetoric going on here ("Every Little Moment", "Love Never Dies" etc)


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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