Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Julia Fordham

Julia Fordham is a funny artist.  Her music varies between pop, jazz and soul - and therefore it's been difficult to categorise.  She's not particularly fashionable and she's never reached the heights of super stardom (although some would argue that she did in Japan and the Philippines).   However, there is a quality to Julia's voice which has interested for me for years.  It's rich and deep, and then, out of the blue she manages to hit the kind of high notes that could attract dogs.

She's also extremely lovely and funny (especially live). I recall meeting her briefly many years ago when I was pulled backstage by her sister Claire (now a successful writer and blogger for the Huffington Post).

Julia's been around for quite some time now.  She started off as a backing singer and then released her first solo album in the late eighties.  'Happy Ever After' was her first hit and it made the UK top forty.  Since then she has released many albums and worked with many producers such as Simon Climie and Larry Klein.  She's toured the world many times and managed to carve out a great career.  Interesting story - Julia was originally going to record 'Everything I Do (I Do It For You)' before Bryan Adams - though the record company changed it's mind and Bryan got the song.

Her current album features actor Paul Reiser, and I'm going to be brutally honest when I say that it's not her best work by far.  Infact, it's a poorly produced affair and not even worth mentioning.

Julia's strengths can be found in 'Concrete Love', an album which includes the vocals of India Arie on the title track and Joe Henry (Madonna's brother in law) on the song, 'Alleluia'.  'East West' is also a good album.

The problem is that Julia often makes songs that are completely out of touch with current trends.  She's not a trend-setter.  However, if you seek out certain songs from her back catalogue, you will be touched by the emotional content and the range of her unusual voice.

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