Woke up, fell out of bed, dragged a comb across my head, jumped into the Bluesmobile and fired up the stereo. Recently loaded with a new selection of CDs for review, opinions get formed rapidly. Even before the end of the first traffic jam, curiosity was getting to me. Who was this I was listening to? Cutting to the chase it was Justin Jude.
The opening track - "Out of State" - just makes you want to drive and drive along an uncongested freeway. It's a song about escape even if only of the metaphorical type. Justin Jude has the kind of voice that you want to sing along with. In fact, you wish you could sing like him. Having a voice like that makes slower, sentimental songs like "This Ring" a delight and, fortunately, the lyrics have an edge to them that keeps them from falling into the sugar bowl. The construction of the songs show that he knows how to keep your attention with "Half A Mile" sneaking quietly into your brain and making itself at home just like it had been in there all your life. The best track to our ears was "Complain Lane". That song has style and it caused a serious bout of finger snapping and singing along. All a bit embarrassing when you are sitting in a traffic jam, of course. Only one thing to do in such circumstances - wind down the window, crank up the volume and let everyone join in the fun.
A mature collection of songs that is unashamedly commercial and would certainly fit into the release schedule of any major label wanting to break into the pop/country market. Remarkably polished, you'll remember the songs and that doesn't happen too often these days. The songs feel warm and they feel real. That, as they say, will do nicely.
Available from CD Baby.