Hello. As luck would have it, I am currently in Boston…and as a result of this serendipity I figured it was time for me to feature one of my favorite artists of all time, Jude.
Jude (full name Michael Jude Christodal, who originally hails from Boston, Massachusetts but now calls LA his home) has written so many incredible songs throughout his career that it seems almost disingenuous to try and narrow down a feature here on a single album. As a result of this artist’s talent, I’ll need you to bear with me when I come back to Jude’s music from time to time in follow up entries. In fact, the day that his new EP, Me and My Monster, dropped in my inbox, I wanted to tell you that same evening that I had listened to it over 20 times over the first 24 hours. Instead, I told Jude that I was hooked on it and loved it while I sat here with writer’s block trying to come up with a feature that I thought would do it justice. After writing and rewriting this over and over, I decided that I could no longer hold back and that what mattered more was getting you to listen to his music rather than nailing this blog post.
I have been listening to Jude’s music for over a decade. Each time I revisit his music, I walk a fine line between gratitude that I came across him on the soundtrack of the movie City of Angels with his haunting original I know, and frustration that he remains, in my opinion, underrated as an artist.
I’ve seen Jude perform throughout the years and have had the pleasure of meeting him a few times along the way. He has been the opener to big headliners such as The Cranberries, Dido, Ben Folds Five, and Train. Each time he took the stage, I would watch audiences start off distracted, like most audiences behave if they are not familiar with an opening band; that is, until his beautiful angelic voice filled the room and took over. It is at that moment that he captures your attention and you become enthralled.
Lucky for you and me, after not releasing a full album in years, mostly in part due to suffering from a vocal condition, Jude is back! His new EP is full of songs that are pure to the core. The album exhibits the heart and soul that Jude puts into his music. From clever lyrics in Me and My Monster, perhaps a tribute to the adorable beast, his dog Axel, or more accurately, just an introspective song about a person’s true internal being, to the re-release of Madonna which is timeless (it was featured on the television show Banshee), this collection of songs drops the synthesized pop that made people groove on Rick James and focuses on Jude’s main talents: his lyrics, storytelling and more importantly his voice. If you have never heard Madonna, please stop and listen to it. Now.
In the style prominent in the song I Do from the album No One Is Really Beautiful (ever reminisce about the one that got away?), his song Moving On will bring tears to your eyes if it catches you at the right time. Male or female, you’re going to relate to this song more than you’ll want to admit it. Upon reflection, you will then get drawn into it even more so because the harmony and vocals in it are so beautiful, that you can’t help but get lost in it. Another track on the this EP that I love listening to is The Way That You Want Me. It is reminiscent of Simon and Garfunkel’s unique sound and it is a poetic and absolutely beautiful song.
Think Simon and Garfunkel, mash that up with Joni Mitchell’s powerful lyrics (A Case of You) “I could drink a case of you / And still be on my feet,” mixed in with some Aimee Mann storytelling (Wise Up), throw in some Bob Dylan just to complete the entire set, and maybe, just maybe, quite possibly, you’ve got an artist named Jude, who has been doing this all along. I say maybe because other than perhaps Justin Timberlake who comes somewhat close to matching Jude’s pure falsetto or the sound of the Bee Gees, no one else comes close to this type of ethereal quality to their high notes.
For those of you that are already fans of Jude, thank you for making Jude’s PledgeMusic campaign such an incredible success. I know he’s thanked us all abundantly, but if you were a fellow supporter of helping to get this masterpiece released, I am forever grateful because it was well worth the wait. For those of you just becoming familiar with his music, I hope you will find Jude’s music as enjoyable as I do. His latest EP, Me & My Monster, is a collection of both some new work and some previously released songs that deserved to be revisited and focused upon because they are the epitome of some of his best work. Although not yet publicly released, one can only hope that this EP will be available for all of you to purchase soon! If this is your first introduction to Jude, at least give me credit if you find it even more than halfway decent to listen to his amazing voice. After all, his songs have featured on the soundtracks of many popular television shows, so if it sounds somewhat familiar, now you know. (Think Alias, House, Dawson’s Creek, One Tree Hill, to name a few.)
If he goes on tour, I will tell you. If the tour stops at a city near you, go see him play live. Unlike many out there, Jude proves that a man can still stand up there with his guitar and just sing.
Before I go, I have to share one my favorite Jude songs with you. I find that the musical arrangement, the lyrics, harmonies, and his voice in this song give this great number a completely unique and rare style of its own. It’s my driving song, my dance it out song if something is wrong, and the horns in the background get me every time. Most importantly the picture of Jude on this album cover is EPIC! Here’s a throwback to Jude’s 2001 release, Everything’s Alright off his album King of Yesterday.
Support this artist and buy his music here: Jude.
Jude, I hope we cross paths soon. I am anxiously awaiting for the arrival of my signed vinyl and I really hope I get to meet your amazing dog Axel soon. Please, don’t ever stop making music.
Thanks for listening music lovers. I’ll leave you with this great remix of Jude’s masterpiece Madonna that will get your weekend going on a great beat. Nicely done Wastd!