Denver singer songwriter Jill Sobule debuted with
Things Here Are Different (MCA, 1990). Backed by rock luminaries
Todd Rundgren (keyboards) and Michael Shrieve (drums), she indulged in an
off-beat, irriverent wit that paid off with a set of
intelligent and funny songs
(Sad Beauty, Tell Me Your Dreams, Life Goes On Without You).
Notwithstanding her childish alto, Sobule proved to be a consummate storyteller,
but the album was a commercial flop, and
Sobule's second album was never released.
Sobule relocated to Los Angeles and began playing in coffehouses, until,
suddenly, the ditty I Kissed A Girl made her a star.
Co-written with Robin Eaton, the songs of Jill Sobule (Atlantic, 1995)
are provocative character pieces (Good Person Inside,
Margaret, Resistance Song, Karen By Night,
The Girl In The Affair) that simply refine the style of her first album.
A broader range of styles (from gospel to bossanova) helped establish
Sobule as a major voice of her generation.
Happy Town (Atlantic, 1997) betrays the anxiety of an adult person.
Bitter, the lullaby When My Ship Comes In, the
country lament of Love Is Never Equal are serious takes on life's
psychological hardship. Sobule even tries the Bob Dylan-style protest song
with the harsh indictment of Soldiers Of Christ.
These tracks contrast with ebullient power-pop of Happy Town,
a remnant of the happy-go-lucky teenager of the previous album.
Pink Pearl (Beyond, 2000) offers pop that is almost baroque in its
formal perfection, fused with intelligent lyrics and an existential posture.
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