Album: Julia With Blue Jeans On
Reviewed by: Stephen Barry
Spencer Krug, AKA, Moonface, has never been one to shy from experimenting with his music. Julian with Blue Jeans On shows a raw, fragile side to the Canadian musician. Featuring nothing but the artist and his piano, the album showcases a gentler side to the singer-songwriter.
Julian With Blue Jeans On is third record to drop with from the moniker Moonface, but it is only the latest for Krug, who has been featuring on over 10 studio albums. More people are likely familiar with his Indie-Rock group Wolf Parade, but he has also been a founding member of Swan Lake, Frog Eyes, and Fifths of Seven. However, Julian, takes the listener to a more intimate place than previous releases. The vocals are bold, the lyrics are delicate, and the piano intricate. But what the songs possess in grace, they lack in versatility.
The foundation of the record is solid, with hints of neo-classical brilliance. Perhaps it is because the album has so much potential, that at times it disappoints. The songs drift into one another, without every really grabbing you. Krug’s droning voice echoes from cover to cover, but what makes the album unique is also its Achille’s heel. Restricted by the limited instruments used, Julian, can at times feel bland. Some songs simply seem less imaginative, which is surprising given the artist’s diverse background.
That is not to say the album is without its gems. Several songs shine through the gray. Your Chariot Awaits demonstrates competence and finesse with the piano. A foray into the more classical side of the CD, it is a spectacle that plays out like a journey. The record also begins with a strong opener in Barbarian. Exposing his audience to a raw sense of shame, the droning vocals express a deep lament.
A profound rush of melancholy and emotion, Julian With Blue Jean On, Spencer Krug pours himself into the album. The Canadian singer-songwriter’s brooding will be sure to resonate with those in a dark place, but the bleak sound of the record may push others away.
Tracks to Check Out: Barbarian; Your Chariot Awaits; Everyone is Noah, Everyone is the Ark