12 Songs, 43 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Considering that Matthew Sweet and Freedy Johnston—two other smart, literate singer/songwriters—managed to modestly break through to alternative and even adult-contemporary audiences, it seemed a shoo-in for a writer as seasoned as Jules Shear to similarly increase his musical profile. He'd already conceived and hosted an early version of MTV's Unplugged program, had written hits for Cyndi Lauper ("All Through the Night") and The Bangles ("If She Knew What She Wants"), and had a minor chart hit with "Steady," cowritten with Lauper. So The Great Puzzle and even more so Healing Bones had sounds that suggested Shear's time in the mainstream was about to start. His cover of The Walker Brothers' "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" captured its bittersweet pop in '90s Technicolor. "Listen to What She Says" benefits from piercing guitar lines by The Cars' Elliot Easton and tight, focused production from Rod Argent (The Zombies) and Peter Van Hooke (Mike + The Mechanics). The title track and "Never Again or Forever" were cowritten with The Band's Rick Danko. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

Considering that Matthew Sweet and Freedy Johnston—two other smart, literate singer/songwriters—managed to modestly break through to alternative and even adult-contemporary audiences, it seemed a shoo-in for a writer as seasoned as Jules Shear to similarly increase his musical profile. He'd already conceived and hosted an early version of MTV's Unplugged program, had written hits for Cyndi Lauper ("All Through the Night") and The Bangles ("If She Knew What She Wants"), and had a minor chart hit with "Steady," cowritten with Lauper. So The Great Puzzle and even more so Healing Bones had sounds that suggested Shear's time in the mainstream was about to start. His cover of The Walker Brothers' "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" captured its bittersweet pop in '90s Technicolor. "Listen to What She Says" benefits from piercing guitar lines by The Cars' Elliot Easton and tight, focused production from Rod Argent (The Zombies) and Peter Van Hooke (Mike + The Mechanics). The title track and "Never Again or Forever" were cowritten with The Band's Rick Danko. 

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