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Julian Lennon Signs His New Album “Jude” At Amoeba, Tuesday October 25th 2022

Julian Lennon
Julian Lennon

Julian Lennon seems to be at ease in his own shoes. Being a Beatles’ offspring is probably a blessing and a curse, but especially a curse if you want to write music. Julian belongs to the same intimate club as James McCartney, Dhani Harrison, Zak Starkey, and his own half-brother Sean Lennon: they all are musicians but cannot escape the comparison… How could they? Julian is so aware of this that he has embraced his heritage. Not only has he finally performed his father’s most famous song, “Imagine,” for the first time this year – and at the same time helped to raise tons of money for Ukraine – but he has named his last album “Jude,” after the most famous Beatles’ song. There’s no escape but this is an overdue reappropriation since The Beatles’ 1968 famous tune was originally written by Paul McCartney to comfort the 5-year-old Julian during his parents John and Cynthia Lennon’s divorce. The song was first entitled ‘Hey Jules” and later changed to “Jude.”

I was surprised to see that Julian Lennon was signing his new album at Amoeba music as I thought he had now a successful career as a photographer, but I guess music will always be there. However, none of the songs were written for “Jude” as he did not intend to release another album. “Many of these songs have been in the works for several years,” Lennon said in a statement on the album. “So, it almost feels like a coming-of-age album. With great respect for the overwhelming significance of the song written for me, the title ‘JUDE’ conveys the very real journey of my life that these tracks represent.”

At Amoeba, Julian signed many copies of his new LP, and I lined up around the building with hundreds of people to spend a few seconds with him. Up close and personal, he appeared like a very genuine person, he was paying attention to people, hugging them for a picture or two, and chatting with everyone. He is also a philanthropist who founded The White Feather Foundation whose mission “embraces environmental and humanitarian issues and in conjunction with partners from around the world helps to raise funds for the betterment of all life, and to honor those who have truly made a difference.” He is obviously a good guy who cares, and the songs convey this feeling. The overwhelming optimism of “Lucky Ones” for example is disarmingly naïve but pure and sincere: “We gotta find a way to get better/The only way through this is together,”

But when you are standing in front of Julian Lennon, there is another very obvious detail that jumps at your face: he really looks like his father, he must have heard this a million times, he also sounds like him at times, and he doesn’t have to try too much.

As for the album, I haven’t had the chance to listen to it much, but at the first listen, the songs are primarily mid-tempo piano-driven ballads with soft to lush arrangements, and if Iman didn’t like it at all, I think that there are a few interesting ones; “Save Me” was probably one of the most inspired tracks of the album with its Radiohead-ish echo. I know that heart is not enough to compose memorable music but Julian’s own is certainly in the right place.

1 Comment

  1. Steve Potocin on October 26, 2022 at 11:51 pm

    Nice to see that Julian seems to be in a good place.

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