King of Yesterday

by: Jude

Why is Jude better than many of his pop underground peers? The answer is hard to articulate, even after you've been won over by King of Yesterday, but it basically boils down to how his uncluttered yet richly textured arrangements bring out the best of his clean, sturdy, melodic songwriting. It also helps that he has an unabashedly sentimental streak derived from the early '70s -- something that he makes explicit with a fine version of Bread's "Everything I Own" -- since it gives the music a real sense of tenderness. But what really makes King of Yesterday work is just the sheer joy in popcraft, how the little details make the songs spring to life. Listen to the horns on the stylish "Everything's All Right (I Think It's Time)," or the ringing guitars on "The Not So Pretty Princess," or the rolling drums that compliment the singalong chorus on "Sit Ups" -- every one accentuates a good song, making them great. This isn't a record that will change the world, but few guitar pop records in 2001 have been as charming as King of Yesterday. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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