We have few voices left in our widely diverse rock and roll world. In the past, we had a smorgasbord of songwriters that looked at the world and constructed words of protest, thought, and complaint in songs that were reflective of our own thoughts and feelings. One that stands out today is one that too few of us have heard. Richard Julian.
Sunday Morning in Saturday’s Shoes is his latest observational album since his major label debut in 2006 (Slow New York) on Manhattan Records. Before that, he has independently released three albums (for us to seek out). And as good as Slow New York was, Sunday Morning in Saturday’s Shoes is much better in several ways. First off, his wit is sharper. On the first track of the album, he hints at mass hypocrisy with those that declare their righteousness, yet the core of their search – mercy – is as far from them in the moment ended as in the moment begun. To add sting, he uncovers the detached attitudes, who, viewing a rage of crashing lives on TV, squirms at the thought of a forgotten product, rather than the unfolding bloodshed. On “World Keeps On,” he pins down a world out of touch as it moves forward.
Julian’s songs are much friendlier to listen to musically. He has developed his song-crafting to create music that steps above the strum of a simple guitar. And yet, his lyrics remain uncompromising to his views of the world that surrounds him, and ultimately us as we attune to his world views. With songs of shock, dismay at the human condition, and its state of mind, and the thin, cold-fingered grasp of corporate greed, grasping the neck of the world, Richard Julian has a cynical sense of our salvation, still so very far away.
All of the songs on this album are wonderful and unforgettable. Richard Julian has successfully stepped up from his already great previous album, making Sunday Morning in Saturday’s Shoes the best we’ve yet heard from one of the masterful voices of this generation.