Richard Julian CD More Sour than Sweet

Richard Julian
Girls Need Attention

Compass 7-4537-2

Whenever I hear someone whose voice is no better than mine, I listen hard to determine whether they’ve got something else going on that makes them unique, or if they’ve just got more chutzpah than I. Put Richard Julian in the second category. This is a record that tries very, very hard to be “cool.” We’ve got high-contrast international symbols on the cover and the inside art features Julian with his goatee and Homburg. The performance? At its best it’s Neil Young doing Punk Lite. (This is especially the case on the track titled “Words.”) There’s also some gravely acoustic folk-blues and lots of attitude-laden songs. (Some might even view the title track as offensive.) But here’s the deal about being cool—it’s a conferred status not a chosen one. Julian’s probably a nice guy, but this album sounds contrived and there’s simply not enough here to compensate for a very average voice that, like mine, is like a Chinese soup: sweet and sour.--LV

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