Clifford T. Ward

Julia and Other New Stories

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This mid-'90s release was recorded at a time when Clifford T. Ward was quite ill, indeed wheelchair-bound, with multiple sclerosis. Fortunately, you wouldn't suspect this from the sound of this album, on which he sings well enough. That's the good news. But for the most part this is tepid and sentimental singer/songwriter stuff. It's agreeable but dull '70s-style singer/songwriter soft rock, with an understated production that often makes it sound more like demos than a completed product. A fair amount of the time he recalls an Elton John working with far less of a budget. At times it gets just a bit more individual and eccentric, with "Unmarried Mother" carrying a much moodier bite than usual and faint McCartney and Bowie echoes sometimes superseding the Elton John ones. The 2002 CD reissue on Cherry Red adds four extra tracks.

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