“I thought no one could catch me
But now I’m slower … “

from “Slower” by Jules Shear

Jules Shear, Slow down
Work by Ron Hart

Reason to rejoice today: Slow down. This is the most recent cycle of songs by the great Jules Shear, a songwriter whose work since his debut in 1983 has been a shining symbol of the power, persistence and poignant character of the art of writing. melodic songs inspired by love. Since I first heard “Whispering Your Name” on his Jules debut album, produced by Todd-Rundgren in 1983 Watch dog, I was addicted for life. Here is a guy absolutely in love with the song and its infinite potential. It’s a love injected melodically and lyrically into every song and album he’s made since.

Jules is the songwriter of a songwriter. A rare distinction. We called him the songwriter of a songwriter – which means a songwriter that other songwriters revere. But hearing so many of these songwriters testify to their great love for Jules, we had to change his designation from songwriter to songwriter. And which, now published, is official. Lest someone worry too long about the potential melody extinction in songs, listen to any song from any Jules album. Not only are these songs generously melodic, but they are melodious in a deep and visceral way, always reaching the heart,

He is a songwriter who has connected with the joy of writing songs through the decades, since the 80s, when Cyndi Lauper had one of her first hits with her song “All Through The Night “(also covered by The Cars), and other great Jules songs have emerged, including The Bangles in 1986 with” If She Knew What She Wants, “Alison Moyet’s 1994 recording of her” Whispering Your Name ”. And others.

But as we all Jules fans know, as cool as these records are, nothing compares to his own version of his songs. His singing, that familiar and friendly voice full of nostalgia, is so visceral and powerful when he delivers one of his classic melodies, be it “Trap Door” or “Healing Bones”, which he wrote with the regretted Rick Danko, that nothing else is enough in the same way.

And every two years or so he releases a new album of beautifully performed songs, always with glorious melodies and lyrical journeys of all kinds, as he has done more recently with Slow down, released at the end of 2020.

As with any of his albums, it’s a mind-blowing collection of songs. Received nowadays, they are good reasons to celebrate. Especially since this album, released in 2020, arrived in our world at the most desperate moment, the sad season of confinement, where nothing more than despair was expected. During the national residence order, this unexpected ray of light: a new album by Jules, entitled Slow down. I put it on and was immediately struck with wonder and joy. I was so impressed and grateful that even in this strange new world, Jules was there, waiting for us with a gift.

I also felt the same as for the last Peter Case album, Highway 62, and also that of Joe Henry Gospel according to water. These are some of the strongest albums ever made by these guys who wrote great songs for a long time. Part of me felt like no one had told them it couldn’t be so good anymore. And I hoped no one would.

Jules, the Slow down, and on all his albums ,. whether solo or with bands (Funky Kings, Reckless Sleepers) is a great reason to rejoice, as his connection to the true joy of songwriting never fails. You can hear in the writing of his songs, in his playful and resourceful lyrics, in his beautiful melodies, in his grooves, his phrasing, his chord changes and how they all combine, that he is a guy who loves. write songs.

It’s a dynamic that cannot be faked. It’s undeniable. Starting with the deliciously sweet “Sugar All Day,” we’re welcomed into a songwriter’s secret shrine of joy, where he writes songs that sound like standards. It’s a. The poignant melody, paired with her sweet imagery, love of cool metaphors, and delicious linguistics, is as good as it gets.

Jules Shear, “Sugar All Day”

Somewhere between here and now
You found a place to play
And you stay seated
And eat sugar all day

of “Sugar all day”
By Jules Shear

There are all the gems among the gems. The melodies and chords are always unexpected and formidable, united by his loving songwriter spirit.

“Between Heaven and Hell” has a musically austere verse, evoking the unresolved tension of everyday life, until a chorus that is essential Jules lifts it all up.

“Feels Like Fall” is a brand new classic. It is deliciously ripe with a magnificent melody fused with surprising lyrics in their fusion of familiar candor and poetic poetics.

I knew better and I knew it didn’t matter
So i messed up
I fucked up
False the true meaning
Let it all pass
Finally I wonder why

Let it all pass
Finally I wonder why
It’s like fall
And it’s spring

Extract from “Feels Like Fall” by Jules Shear

If only for this song, that would be a good reason to celebrate. But this is just one of a remarkably large and very inspiring songbook – which is still under construction – from our friend Jules. To whom we have real gratitude for the work you have done. You’ve written songs that are way more amazing than almost any human.

But we want more! Do not stop ! We love you.

An additional gift from Jules to you, “Healing Bones”, by Jules and Rick Danko, 1993.



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