Richard Julian w/Swan Dive

When: Thu., May 20, 7 p.m. 2010

News of a singer-songwriter rolling out a new breakup album — yes, yet another one of those — might justifiably be greeted with groans. Richard Julian’s Girls Need Attention — his first album for a Nashville label (Compass) — deserves a far more welcoming reception. Emotion almost always accompanies songwriting on this subject, but the wryness, the sharpened perception and the pop smarts that peek through the 12 tracks are rarer (and a little Randy Newman-ish). Not for nothing does the New York-based singer-songwriter close the album with a cover of Newman’s “A Wedding in Cherokee County.” This is Julian’s sixth album, and he recorded it in Norah Jones’ home studio. Julian and Jones — when they’re not doing their own things — co-lead the lighthearted country-jazz combo The Little Willies. But Julian’s most natural habitat is sophisticated live-band pop.

Jewly Hight


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