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Jerusalem-Self-titled

March 1, 2008

Jerusalem – Self-titled

Self-released

Impressive solo rock project full of many demonstrations of ability.

Jerusalem’s self-titled album is one of the more refreshing albums to come out in a while. The band is one 20-year-old, Michael S. Judge, who has done everything to produce the album in a matter of nine days and $0. This quick turnaround is probably one of the more impressive musical feats on an album full of them. All of the songs sound pretty hi-fi and well produced, and all of the parts can be heard very clearly. While usually not that unusual for an album, for a single 20-year-old this is unbelievable.

Many of the songs have arrangements that really show Michael Judge’s chops on all of his instruments. While this format means a heck of a lot of soloing and could put off those who don’t see solos as their cup of tea, the way it is all done is pretty tasteful. All of the songs are originals except for the cover of Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War,” which is arranged nicely. “Sea Creatures” is by far the best original track, in which the guitar and keyboards weave in and out of each other, creating a flowing melody before the singing begins.

The only complaints that can be given are that sometimes Judge’s voice can sound a little bit forced, and occasionally the songs eschew the perfect length and become long-winded. But all of the nitpicking aside, this album is an incredible achievement and shows good-old rock musicianship and songwriting.

-Tim Wallen

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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