Julian Coryell doesn't seem too concerned about trying to live up to his father's musical legacy. The son of jazz musician Larry Coryell, Julian has taken a considerably different path, playing a cheeky brand of straight-ahead pop. The album opens with "Let Me Fall," an impressive production filled with strings, cello, and guitar, all building up to a wonderful crescendo. "Nothing Left to Use" covers the well-worn territory of a painful breakup, while "Song for Cynics" displays a well-developed sense of irony. It's that sense of irony that provides the album's highlights as Coryell has fun juxtaposing cheerful melodies with dark lyrics. "Didn't Mean to Be So Mean" sounds like a '60s bubblegum tune, but features lyrics like "I didn't mean to be so mean/but you made it so easy." Then there's "Amnesia," where he happily sings "I think I've suffered more than you care to remember." With his uncanny ability to craft strong melodies, rich arrangements, and clever lyrics, Coryell has already proved to be a major talent. He may have taken a different route than his father, but there is plenty on Bitter to Sweet to make his papa proud.
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AllMusic Review by Jon Azpiri