Pure Song

Nov 11, 1998 at 12:00 am

Not to make too much of a fuss about No One is Really Beautiful, but Jude Christodal is really special. The first thing to do is comment on his extraordinary voice which will surely be compared to the late Jeff Buckley's, since hardly anyone else sings with this broad a range. Jude's voice is a pristine instrument that clarifies the ambiguous without effort. It sensuously soars and glides as he reaches into his forgotten inner self and pulls out this unbelievable falsetto that most men would be ashamed to use. Childlike and road weary, a hopeless romantic yet clearly jaded, Jude is a troubadour. The guy's been honing his act for a few years now and has a great batch of tunes he's been carting around. One of these songs, "I Know," was included on the soundtrack to City of Angels, which is not surprising since Jude has a strong grasp on the bizarre spirit and innate desperation of Los Angeles.

While most of Jude's wry sarcasm will fly over the collective heads of his potential audience, the kid is just tuneful enough to get away with being a smartypants. Besides, when he settles down to sing a song of yearning, disdain, defeat or heartache, you just gotta believe in him. Even his last goodbye, "The Asshole Song," is sung with enough pathos and self-observing realism to make an asshole like me feel sorry him. Anyhow, with Jude's great voice and clever songwriting, he's bound to have a real hit single. There's one tune called "Rick James" and another one called "Brad And Suzy" which are both offbeat-funky and catchy-kitchsy enough to fit in on the radio. Watch out for Jude.