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Julian Coryell | Rock Star | review | alternative | Lollipop

Julian Coryell

Rock Star (Mood Inc./United Musicians)
by Tim Den

As the son of legendary jazz guitarist Larry Coryell, Julian Coryell's got quite a resume: Miles Davis turned the then-child onto pop, but not before the kid first cut three instrumental jazz albums as a young man. His first album was released by Mojo, and - before accepting Aimee Mann and Michael Penn's invitation to join the United Musicians roster - managed to produce The Webb Brothers and play all of the instruments on this, his second (and satirically-titled) album.

And what an album it is. Born with the same visceral affection as Jeff Buckley and the sixth sense of pop mastery ala Jason Falkner, Coryell's moody take on polished California pop is like an aural orgasm. Tidal waves of ingenius vocal harmonies, cynically sweet lyrics, and enough spiraling chord changes to cause vertigo shroud Rock Star in shimmering talent, the kind you just don't witness anymore. There is soul in his voice, intelligence in his arrangements, depth in the percussion... I dare say, what with Falkner delivering an album every decade or so, Coryell just might be the man to satisfy smart pop fans in the meantime. It's no wonder Mann and Penn picked up this guy.

If there's any justice in this world, Rock Star will make Julian Coryell just that.

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