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Unusual Suspects

Julia Fordham & Paul Reiser

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Customer Reviews

Fabulous

You've been in my life for 25 years. And this album is fabulous, I will never get board of your voice. Come back to England and please do a few concerts. We miss you.
I love this album.

She's Back!

And oh it was worth the wait. Where have you been Julia? A different sound on this album to previous ones but still the same sultry sexy voice that I just melt into.

Buy it.

exquisite, beautiful, haunting, accomplished

The supremely talented Julia Fordham scores yet again with this brilliant collection of melancholy songs. The album is a collaboration with actor, comedian and pianist, Paul Reiser, and marks a departure from her jazz / pop / blue-eyed soul offerings of the last 10 years. This time the songs are big on orchestral arrangements, adding an epic feel to Fordham's sweeping, soaring, dynamic vocals. As with absolutely all of Fordham offerings, hasty reviews and first impressions should be discounted: the songs are crafted, witty and multi-layered, and deploy Fordham's trademark, unique, melodic devices which are not always obvious or instantaneous but which reap significant rewards on repeated listens.

Hence we have a song which, in a just world, would be recognised as an epic classic and instantly declared a huge hit: the album's opener, 'You Keep Me On My Feet'. On the surface a pure and simple love song, it is instead laced with irony, double-think and disappointment. "You're no stroll down easy street" / "You hold me up" / "You hold me back" / "You keep me rooted to the ground". This is the love song sung with the heavy heart of someone resigned to their fate, yet wishing for no way out. Lyrically brilliant, musically intruiguing, and highly, highly recommended for anyone's collection.

'Fine' nods at the percussive elements of her first hit, but delivers the grace and reflective quality of many of Fordham's doomed relatonship songs; 'Good Ship' is as good a Big Chart Ballad as anything that the household names could ever produce (which is simultaneously to undermine its brilliance and damn it with faint praise - of course, this is way better than chart fodder. I apologise). The song contains a few musical hints at Fordham's second album, Porcelain. 'Walking Shoes' similarly takes the end-of-affair balladry to its melodic heart.

'Say Hey Kid', an allusion to the iconic US baseball player, delivers an intriguing dream sequence rooted in Fordham's trademark melancholy: "In your hands you were holding a white flag / you were waving it and crying / whispering that you're sorry for everything". This is musically one of the album's most adventurous and accomplished songs.

'Trusted' and 'Minefield' both deal with innocence in various forms; both have a simple hymn-like quality which enable Fordham's melodic trademarks and distinctive voice to shine through the ostensibly simple arrangements, producing two beautiful, memorable songs.

The album's only low points are 'Unsung Hero', selected as the first single and dedicated to our brave forces, and 'Shadow', which contains the rather odd suggestion that one's shadow may be hung upon a gallows. The former is mawkish, the latter simply an album filler; neither work particularly well.

As a whole this is an accomplished work which demands wider attention. It sits alongside an impressive array of Julia Fordham albums, complementing work that has gone before and pointing to even greater things to come.

Biography

Born: 10 August 1962 in Portsmouth, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A jazz- and pop-influenced singer/songwriter, Britain's Julia Fordham is an eclectic artist with a loyal cult following. A native of Portsmouth, England, Fordham performed folk music in local clubs, sang with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, and worked as member of Mari Wilson's backing troupe the Wilsations before embarking on her solo career. In 1988, Fordham released her eponymously titled debut, Julia Fordham, which showed off her low, smoky jazz bar,...
Full bio
Unusual Suspects, Julia Fordham
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