5 Kinds of Rain
Artist: Justin Jude
Distributed By: Justin Jude
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
When I received the EP 5 Kinds of Rain by Justin Jude to review, I was immediately taken by the title of the album. I wondered what the songs would be like and thought about the various types of rain one could experience. There are depressing drenching downpours; light, cleansing sun showers; refreshing, hot summer drizzles and more. The potential for emotional exploration that the title of this EP suggested was very intriguing. I couldnít wait to take a listen.
Portland-based singer/songwriter Justin Jude began his musical career training in classical piano with his mother, a piano teacher. At the age of thirteen, he learned the guitar, mostly to impress the girls, performing songs by Cream, Led Zeppelin, Guns ĎNí Roses and more. Upon receiving a Martin Sigma acoustic guitar at the age if fifteen, Justin Jude began to appreciate the art of songwriting. In college, he played around with music, performing in campus bands and performing in campus bars.
Then, in 2004, Justin Jude began to take his music to another level, releasing his first full-length album, Itís Love Itís Love Itís Love. Establishing himself as a songwriter to watch, Jude released his second album, Truce, in 2008, to extremely positive reviews. With four full-length albums, several compilations, a number of national television placements and a huge fan-base on YouTube, Justin Jude decided to strip down to his bare roots for this album, recording it while performing acoustic guitar and tapping Jake Oken-Berg and Dylan Dean for accompaniment on piano and violin respectively.
The resulting album is a tour of emotional issues surrounding love and life. Justin Judeís songwriting skills are amazing. I could actually picture the events in each song. Out of the five songs on this EP, there are three that I found to be incredibly profound and heartfelt. The Dead Sea is about a soldier in the desert (never really clear if this desert is Iraq, Afghanistan or the desert of the singerís heart). Survival is not an easy thing and the singer fights to stay alive, knowing that if he gives up the fight, another will be forced to fight in his place and experience the anguish he has experienced. The Story of Our Lives is a beautiful love song that describes what being in love is all about and the discovery that love lasts throughout the ups and downs as long as the love is pure. Bleed tells the tale of survival after a love gone south.
The complexity of emotions is beautifully expressed through the use of the acoustic guitar accompanied by the beautiful vocals of Justin Jude. There's a tranquility about Jude's voice that lulls you in and makes you want to hear every word that comes out of his mouth. And those lyrics are simply amazing - great stories are told in those lyrics. I found myself listening with a new kind of intensity and wanting to hear his music again and again, until I had found that I had listened to 5 Kinds of Rain exactly five times. I can't wait until Justin Jude comes out with his next full-length album!