Portland, Oregon based singer-songwriter Justin Jude comes cold on the heels of his 2008 record, Truce. Jude isn’t a bad songwriter––you can imagine yourself spending hours in a coffee shop on a rainy afternoon listening to “Rose City” again and again while you wait for the sky to clear and not finding that a particularly difficult task. “Hard To Stay Alive” isn’t half bad either, a reasonably solid country-cum-folk strummer. But “Bleed” and “The Dead Sea” are perhaps too monochromatic, never really evolving into much more than a cool guitar figure, a pretty melody, and some decent words hurled together by their creator’s hand. The closing “The Story of Our Lives” sounds like, if not an amalgamation of the other songs here, then an amalgamation of closing tracks culled from various singer-songwriter EPs released in the last five years. Jude’s not so bad as to be offensive but neither is he interesting enough to warrant recommendation.
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