Jubilant Newborn Alien Haze-Limited Edition EP
This Limited Edition EP features four tracks from Julia's album, Jubilant Newborn Alien Haze. From: Amplifier jubilant newborn alien haze Despite the title, this is NOT a Guided by Voices album. Virginia-to-Manhattan transplant Brown is infernally difficult to describe without resorting to lists of otherwise completely unrelated artists who she occasionally vaguely resembles. So I'll just make a couple of observations. In this album's press kit, Brown says that Duran Duran's Seven and the Ragged Tiger inspired her to become a songwriter, and to be honest, her lyrics have the same stream of consciousness impenetrability that was Simon Le Bon's stock in trade. Happily, she's also a terrific singer, with the scratchy emotional intensity of Lisa Germano and the controlled warmth of Beth Orton, and as opaque as the lyrics are, you can still tell that they seem to mean something to her. Brown has created a remarkably varied album that touches on numerous styles, often within the same song. Oh, all right, I'll just make the list: I hear Tapestry-style singer-songwriter rock, Kate Bush-like art pop, Beck-esque sampledelic whimsy, Elvis Costello's slippery vocal melodies and elastic sense of song structure, Jill Scott's try-anything once spirit and the emotional intensity of Aimee Mann minus the soul-baring lyrics. Singer-songwriters as eclectically gifted as Julia Brown almost never reach the audiences they deserve, but anyone who doesn't hear the loping, acoustic-guitar-driven 'This Is Your Day' is missing one of the most sublime pop treasures of the year. This is someone to watch. -Stewart Mason From The Muse's Muse This is rather an exciting 1st release. Immediately she claims, 'I'm not Britney Spears and I'm not out to be an R&B diva. I am determined to do something unique.' If the opening electronic beat and spooked guitar of "Victims and Villains" are anything to by, Julia's getting her wish. Have to break it to you though, girl, you have the Voice of a diva. What IS a diva? Well, that would be any girlie in tight pants who can hold a note through war, flood and Disney World lines. A woman with a wide range of vocals and nuances, a voice that can ride high the emotions of fright, love, jealousy: and that fresh young thang be Julia Brown. The beautiful tune of "Instinct #1" have words that flow, 'Kick someone when he's down/But when he's on the ground something dies/You stop and you turn around/And suddenly you've found/You're looking at someone else.' It's a hit. Instinct #1 probably means the quest of life; to hold on. That's the great thing about Ms. Brown. She doesn't lay it down naked for you like most pop songs and sitcoms. She gives you the clues. YOU figure it out. Because she accompanies it with a tune worth of the major acts, you find yourself singing along, piecing it together with a smile somewhere close. The 4/4 beat of "Afterglow" is deceptive at first. Love the da da DA da da rhythm, ditto Julia's voice nude in front of the microphone. Of course when you sound like she does, you don't have to put on Phil Collins filters. "Hang your feelings out to dry/Find a grudge to justify/It's never been easy/Win the battle, win the war/It's not a game until you score/It's hard not to see it." No, it's not hard to see that HAZE is crafted out of the same quality Celine and Mariah have used all these years. Julia just hooks up the amp to a fresher, rocker sound, more down to earth, less glitter and more bodied in it's popular components. Speaking of Mariah, she's got nothing on this Brown. And you don't have to wade thru some much wild-note soul, all you pop rockers out there. The tunes are memorable, not just repetitious motifs. 10 songs with plenty of throat. "Invisible" holds it. "This Is Your Day" strums it to sleep. Ah, to be so young and talented...