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Pink Pearl

Jill Sobule

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Album Review

Folk-pop singer Sobule's fourth album, and first for the indie Beyond label, isn't a radical change in direction; her airy, hypnotically intriguing little girl voice, floating melodies, and incisive, often droll lyrics are all similar to previous work. But there's subtlety and craftsmanship at work here, especially in the album's inspired production, which kicks these 12 songs up a notch, framing each of them in sympathetic, dazzling, often elaborate arrangements, which smartly underscore the artist's melodies. Inspired by songsmith craftsmen like Ray Davies and Elvis Costello, Sobule's perceptive lyrics tell vivid mini-dramas of everyday folks. "Rock Me to Sleep," the album's only unaccompanied song, perfectly portrays the protagonist's lonely life by describing her bedroom as "the book on the bedstand, the little TV, the drink and the ashtray." Other tracks explore details of the "Loveless Motel" with pictures of Billie Ray Cyrus and Ernest Borgnine on the wall and "Mary Kay," a teacher who becomes pregnant and runs away with one of her students. But even if you don't bother with the eloquent yet understated lyrics, Sobule's melodies and savvy knack for incorporating everything from sunny-style '60s Brit-pop complete with Mellotron, tympani, and tubular bells on "Rainy Day Parade" to Beatles-style instrumentation (check out the "Fool on the Hill" recorder, "Eleanor Rigby" string quartet, and even Byrds-ish guitar break on "Lucy at the Gym") will impress. Vocally her soft, plaintive yet bold voice falls between Suzanne Vega and Rickie Lee Jones, but it is less affected and more natural. With Pink Pearl (named after the common pencil eraser), Jill Sobule has proven that she's no one-hit novelty fluke. This album brims with imagination and talent and proves there's more to her than just another pretty voice.

Customer Reviews

Wonderful album PLUS it has Mexican Wrestler on it!

Jill is such a talented songwriter and performer. Everyone knows her big hit "I Kissed A Girl" but this album contains what I think is her best song of all time, the clever yet deeply poignant "Mexican Wrestler." This is an amazing song which, like many of her best tunes, manages to make you simultaneously laugh and feel a bit of melancholy pain. There is a version of this song performed by Emma Roberts (which has a more simple poppiness to it). But Jill's rendition is achingly perfect. Buy the song and you'll see what I mean.

An Incredible Album!

I can't believe there's only 1 review here… I guess it's timing, in that this album came out in CD days, pre-iTunes store. Jill Sobule is, quite simply, one of the most talented, funny, insightful fantastic singer-songwriters of all time. She is massively under-appreciated/under-recognized. All of her albums have great songs on them, so it's hard to pick a single "best" but Pink Pearl might be it. Its songs show her full range, from the hilarious, biting, upbeat "Heroes" to the brilliant love song "Mexican Wrestler" to songs that play like the most satisfying short stories such as "Lucy At The Gym" and "Loveless Hotel."

Do yourself a favor and discover Jill and support her amazing creative output by buying her music. And if you really want a treat, go see her perform live. She's incredibly entertaining and puts on a great show!

Biography

Born: 1961 in Denver, CO

Genre: Rock

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

Singer/songwriter Jill Sobule rose to fame on the strength of her 1995 hit single "I Kissed a Girl," a tongue in cheek nod to the media's fascination with "lesbian chic." Born in Denver, CO in 1961, Sobule grew enamored of rock music at a young age, but did not seriously consider a career as a performer until she spent her junior year of college abroad in Spain. Upon her return to the U.S., she dropped out of school to devote her full energies to music, but her work found little success as she battled...
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Pink Pearl, Jill Sobule
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