REVIEW album Jules Shear One More Crooked Dance

Jules Shear Is Back With 'One More Crooked Dance'

One More Crooked Dance

Jules Shear

Jules Shear can write a song and make you feel it in no time at all. He’s got it; he understands the craft. And on this, his newest album, 'One Crooked Dance', he’s got a solid winner. His songwriting style is of someone who has lived and experienced reality – life's good and bad sides, joy and pain, love and heartache. There is a purity in his songs, nothing is forced, it’s welcome and refreshing. As is the emotion that’s wrung out of his voice. Everything about this album is right. With just piano, vocals and the occasional harmonica interspersed, the 13 personal songs on 'One More Crooked Dance' is haunting, yet right.

The title track, “One Crooked Dance” has a nice opening and immediately grabs you with its’ melody and the stellar production. “Pain Killer” is a sad, honest and truthful number; the songs are catchy, simple elegant and highlight a haunting stripped-down offering. It’s a dark, quiet and atmospheric.

Shear has survived 40-plus years in the music business, starting with the Funky Kings (a precursor to the country-rock singer/songwriter sound), moving on to Jules and the Polar Bears and then an impressive solo career, with hits like Cyndi Lauper’s “All Through the Night”, The Bangles “If She Knew What She Wants” and his own “Steady”, a co-write with Lauper. Not to mention catalog mainstays such as Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers’ “If We Never Meet Again”, Til Tuesday’s “[I Believed You Were] Lucky” and Alison Moyer’s top 20 U.K. hit, “Whispering Your Name”. And he was the host (and co-creator) of the influential MTV Unplugged.

If you haven’t checked out Jules Shear’s solo work before, you must. And 'One More Crooked Dance' is a very fine place to start. You’ll come back to this album over and over again.