Julian Cope

Saint Julian

Julian Cope - Saint Julian ©1987 Island
1. World Shut Your Mouth
2. Trampolene
3. Eve's Volcano
4. Shot Down
5. Planet Ride
6. Saint Julian
7. Spacehopper
8. Pulsar
9. Screaming Secrets
10. A Crack In The Clouds

Whether he is simply eccentric and visionary or truly demented and hallucinatory, Julian Cope has certainly been a prolific artist over the past two decades, both with his original band, The Teardrop Explodes, and his lengthy solo career. Although I haven't kept up with his recorded work beyond his early 90s releases, I still feel it safe to say his 1987 release, Saint Julian, stands as one of his best efforts, as well as one of the better modern rock releases in the late 80s.

With a sound that was expansive, crystal clear and remarkably devoid of any tendency to be new wave, punkish or blandly mainstream, Saint Julian is a masterpiece of great sound quality and excellent songwriting. The album has two bonafide minor hits to begin the disc, the bouncy "Trampolene" (pun intended, so deal) and "World Shut Your Mouth". The remainder of the album is equally as good and features a good variety of songwriting approaches from slower numbers such as "Eve's Volcano" or the taut, tense "A Crack in the Clouds", to more rocking numbers such as the ripping "Spacehopper". Julian Cope's sense of catchiness without resorting to bubblegum pop cliches is in tip-top shape here. These are the sorts of songs you instantly know by heart on the first listen and retain their flavor many years down the line. Although the music is somewhat offbeat, this form of modern rock never became bloated with self-importance of being deliberately too weird for its own good.

Saint Julian is truly one of the forgotten gems of the 80s and stands as one of my all time favorite records from my youth.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/2001

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