Album Review: Julian Cope, "Saint Julian"

For a few brief moments around the "Turn of the Eighties," the Teardrop Explodes seemed like an interesting and promising band. Cool name anyway. 

But, let's face it, the competition was pretty stiff, so no surprise that they faded, leaving a vague feeling of unfulfilled promise that lingered longer than it should have.

This feeling even cost me a few pounds many years later when I shelled out on what was supposed to be the strongest solo album of Teardrops front man Julian Cope. Sadly, Saint Julian, which came out in 1987, proved that Cope -- and thus the Teardrops -- had always been somewhat overrated rather than the underrated.

The album also sold itself on Cope's trademark arrogance, something that bands like Oasis later mimicked with much greater justification. Surely something this cocky must have something to it, the thought whispered. But an objective listen proves quite the opposite. Brash, yes, but largely sterile and unimaginative. 

The leaden drumming (by Chris Whitten who also nearly fucked up the Waterboys hit Whole of the Moon), the hamfisted production (by Warne Livesey who ruined Midnight Oil's career), and Cope's caterwauling singing style quickly squish any musical ideas that seem promising.

The much-lauded World Shut Your Mouth is a typically dull and unpleasant listen. 

Perhaps the track that lives best with the deficiencies of the musicians best is Pulsar but this "peak" hardly reaches the nadir of millions of other albums.

Julian, shut your mouth! OK, I'll allow you one track, then you fuck off!

Colin Liddell
Revenge of Riff Raff

30th June, 2019
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