A Review of the Julie Felix CD
"The Rainbow Collection"

"The Rainbow Collection"
by Julie Felix

(Track Records: TRA1048)
http:// www.trackrecords.co.uk

This review is written by Dai Woosnam, daigress@hotmail.com, 1/05

Let us start this review with a quiz question. Name me the 20th century American singer who was a legend in a European country, whilst being unknown in her own?

No, Josephine Baker is NOT the correct answer! Why not? Well because her initial fame was more based on her exotic (or should that be “erotic”?) dancing, than her singing.

Mind you, Julie Felix would have made a heck of a fine erotic dancer in her prime: come to think of it, she STILL has more sex appeal than most women half her age!

But the question is not whether she can still “hack it” on the catwalk: rather it is whether she can still hack it in the recording studio? (For, she is indeed, the answer to my quiz question.)

And on the strength of three hearings of this album, I can say an emphatic “yes”. Though that said, not much of this album has been recorded POST the Millennium: most of the tracks seem to have been cut in 1999, and some actually date from the late 70s.

The album has been brought out to celebrate Julie's 40 years as a professional performer. It is an interesting mix of material, containing as it does a Cohen, some Dylan, some self-penned, some Spanish language songs and some traditional. (And on the subject of the last-mentioned: I note that Julie calls The Wild Mountain Thyme “traditional”. Well, Julie, the TUNE may be, but the words are by Francis McPeake. Written in the mid-Fifties as I recall.)

I liked so much of this album. Julie's voice has lost nothing down the years, and here she has surrounded herself with some tasty musicians. I very much liked Darren Spicer's lead acoustic guitar and Noreen Brokke's authoritative piano playing.

Indeed Noreen's inspired playing on “Hallelujah” helped make it the best track on the album. Though that said, Julie's impassioned delivery of Leonard Cohen's remarkable lyric certainly helped! And re those lyrics: I am uncertain whether that song is 99% mumbo jumbo or whether I need drop an acid tab to find the real meaning, that lies just beneath the surface, as with so many of Cohen's songs. But certainly there is something truly MESMERISING about that song, and Julie and her mate Noreen had me in a trance.

Nice to hear someone singing a few songs in Spanish…rather than SpANGLish: that is to say that her Spanish is clearly the real thing.

And what a good choir the Avalonian Free State Choir are! I would happily buy an album of their work. They join her for the last two tracks.

If you are reading this outside the UK, do yourself a favour. Buy the album. You will thus encounter the “British” Joan Baez (though in truth she is from Santa Barbara, California!) In Britain though, I need make no such request: here, this woman is a household name.

Buy it at: www.trackrecords.co.uk
Artiste's website: www.juliefelix.com
Contact management: remarkablerecords@btinternet.com

Dai Woosnam
Grimsby, England

Track List:

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