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Julie Clark | Change Your Mind

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United States - Virginia

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Folk: Modern Folk Folk: Folk Pop Moods: Solo Female Artist
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Change Your Mind

by Julie Clark

A stunning sophomore collection that's crystal clear – both in terms of Clark’s vivid lyrics and the pristine sound quality of the recording itself.
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Change Your Mind
4:12 $0.99
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2. Superman
4:41 $0.99
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3. Growin' Up
4:12 $0.99
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4. Jacket
4:19 $0.99
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5. If It Weren't for That
3:38 $0.99
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6. Long Way Down
4:14 $0.99
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7. Intro to Courage
0:23 $0.99
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8. Courage of Our Convictions
3:36 $0.99
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9. Hiding & Seeking
3:59 $0.99
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10. I’d Do ‘Em All (If I Could)
4:54 $0.99
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11. Roller Coaster
4:00 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
To listen to Julie Clark’s music is to plunge into emotion... sometimes splashing playfully on the surface of light-heartedness, sometimes diving deeply into more complex feelings. Regardless of which emotion is stirred, you’ll find her unique voice and lyrics to be remarkably expressive.

Clark’s second full-length CD of all-original material, Change Your Mind, was released by Great Big Records January 13, 2009. This stunning sophomore recording is crystal clear – both in terms of Clark’s vivid lyrics and the pristine sonic quality of the recording itself. You can see straight to the bottom of its sparkling pool of widely diverse emotions. From the ebullient hopefulness of the opening track “Change Your Mind” to the raucous fun of “I’d Do ‘Em All (if I could),” Clark’s songwriting addresses a broad range of human experience with surprising honesty and insight. Throughout Change Your Mind, Clark sings of love in its many forms, such as the poignant hope of restoring closeness with a sibling in “Growin’ Up” and an intense longing to be desired romantically in “Jacket.”

“Despite the different tones and themes,” Clark says, “all the songs on Change Your Mind share an underlying theme of hope. They all speak to the strength and resiliency of our dreams and desires.”

Clark’s personal story is one of radical transformation. It’s hard to imagine now, but for much of her life Clark weighed 200 pounds more than she does today. Few artists have undergone such a profound physical and emotional change. Her lifelong struggle with obesity, and her ultimate success, have forever shaped her music and view of the world.

Some songs in this new collection reveal extraordinary vulnerability. “If it Weren’t for That” is a crushing firsthand recollection of the shame of growing up with a weight problem – shared in stark, unadorned simplicity. Clark’s risk is your reward, though it may come as a bit of a shock to realize you’ve entered into completely unprotected reaches of her heart. The experience of hearing Clark’s songs is both powerful and intense – stirring yet soothing.

Change Your Mind was recorded with a distinct reverence for the songs themselves. Production assistance from Robert Ulsh and John Toomey focused on supporting the words and meaning of each story with no unnecessary elements. Clark invited renowned musicians such as Stephen Bennett, John Toomey, Bill Gurley, Jimmy Masters and Tom Jones to help illuminate the significance of each song.

Clark first committed her songcraft to disc on her debut CD Feel Free (Great Big Records, 2003). Despite the many songwriting awards bestowed on Feel Free, her continued development as a songwriter is evident throughout Change Your Mind, proving that the intervening time was very well spent. The disc is rich in wordplay, such as the darkly ironic humor in her song about the death of Superman: “The funeral was today / The Super Friends were all super-busy / and though they couldn’t come / The Super Friends were super-bummed.”

Clark has garnered considerable acclaim as an emerging artist. Her many accolades include winning the Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Competition (adding her name to a list of luminaries that includes Lyle Lovett, Steve Earle, Nanci Griffith and Shawn Colvin); winning 1st Place in the Great American Song Contest; and being named Folk/Acoustic Artist of the Year at the Virginia Music Awards.
From her home base in Norfolk, Virginia, Clark maintains a busy national touring schedule of performances at premiere festivals and clubs such as The Barns of Wolftrap in Vienna, Va., The Michigan Womyn's Music Festival and The Art House Theater in Provincetown, Ma..

With the release of this much-anticipated new CD, Clark’s true potential appears limitless. One thing is clear – Julie Clark is an artist whose time has come!

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Reviews


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jed ryan

The Best Pop Album of 2009!
JULIE CLARK: Meet the Girl Behind the Best Pop Album of 2009!


Virginia native Julie Clark and I met while the charismatic songstress was in New York City in March. When Julie gave me a copy of her new CD "Change Your Mind", her friend/traveling companion told me, "This will soon become your favorite album!" She said it with such casual confidence that I knew it would be true-- even though as a music writer, I'm listening to dozens of albums at any given time. I couldn't wait to find out. Let's just say that the promise was fulfilled. From the first few notes of "Change Your Mind", the title track, the listener is hooked-- in a big way. The opening song's blend of guitar, keys, and banjo create a symphony of perfection. Yes, you read right: There IS a banjo (courtesy of Bill Gurley)! Setting the stage for most of the rest of the album, the kickoff of Clark's new CD is zesty, invigorating, and very catchy. Then, there's Ms. Clark's voice: breathy, unblemished, and delicately beautiful. (If you must have a comparison, think of Jewel-- without the quirk factor.) Her delivery is always smooth and flawless, as evidenced when she sings lyrics of the title track: "We change our hair, we change our clothes; and things so deep down they don't show. Old days we leave behind, lead to new ways that we find... If you wanna change your life, you change your mind". Clark's voice is complemented perfectly by her expert choice of musicians (including great synergy with her harmony vocalist Jess Willoughby) and equally expert production, but there's more than that on "Change Your Mind". What makes this album stand out is Julie's ability to translate the personal into universal and make it sound so fine. A few of the songs on "Change Your Mind" are overtly biographical, many are deeply candid, and all of them are unyieldingly earnest... but none of the music is overly precious to the point of being pretentious, or sounding like she's writing songs solely for her own catharsis-- a trap that too many indie artists fall into. This is music for everyone, baby... Most of Julie's own personal reflections set to music are likely to speak to each and every one of us. It's radio-ready pop that can rival any of Julie's peers on the charts today. In fact, I'm going to be so bold as to say that Julie Clark's "Change Your Mind" is the best pop album of 2009-- male or female, straight or gay, indie or major label. Yes, my readers, I know that we're only one third of the way into the year... but any music that gets delivered to me from this point on will have some pretty big pumps (or boots, or20cha cha heels...) to fill.

Clark gets to sing some some commentary about our American icon for the next track, "Superman". Is she singing about the death of the Man of Steel as a metaphor for death of values in America, or maybe as a statement about our country's absence of a hero? Maybe... But why ask why? Just enjoy this lyrically indulgent and oh-so-smart gem of a song. For the banjo-heavy "Growin' Up", she sings something of a shout-out to her older brother. It's a dusty but treasured family photo album (NOT a digital picture frame!) come to life. So many different feelings are intertwined, from the more pleasant aspects of nostalgia to tales of childhood angst ("You found yourself a potpourri, of charming ways to torture me, like selling copies of my diary..."). "Jacket" emerges as one of the sweetly sexiest songs you're likely to hear in a while, but it's very much an unblemished type of sexiness (Think Sixpence None the Richer's 1999 "Kiss Me"...). "If It Weren't For That" is a song inspired by Julie's own struggle with weight in the early part of her life. Julie told me that she only performs this song on special occasions, because it is indeed so deeply personal. While the story behind the song will strike some listeners as heartbreaking, Julie emerges no less the strong for it, clearly ready to share her story in hopes of maybe helping others dealing with the very "now" issues of childhood obesity and body image, especially for young girls. "If It Weren't For That" is like the musical equivalent of a hand-painted ornament: every detail seems meticulously thought out, from the occasional electronic raindrops that fall like tears, to the haunting cello in the bac kground. Next up is "Long Way Down", an upbeat song which re-creates that giddy, priceless feeling of being with someone who you're really into... but with just a touch of nervous apprehension! ("Flirting with you's like walking on a ledge, perfectly safe until you reach the edge; Thirty flights above the ground, that's how I feel when you're around; But if I stumble, if I fall, it's a long way down...") Whether you're 16 or 60, you'll relate. "Courage of Our Convictions" is an unambiguous rally for equal rights for our community. The song is not heavy handed, confrontational, or angry-- but rather a call to arms for mutual respect, understanding, and love-- even for our would-be adversaries . One day, we will have an equivalent of a Great American Songbook of LGBT Equality, and this should-be-classic song deserves to be in it:

"Oh my dear brothers, and sisters too,
Workin' to make a change long overdue;
We're gonna fight for freedom,
yeah, yeah we're gonna fight for love.
We're gonna fight 'cause
nothing less than equal's good enough."

This song also showcases the range of Julie's voice to its best. "I'd Do 'Em All (If I Could)" is a playful romp. For this one, Ms. Clark truly lets loose; we envision a rare unplugged moment in the studio with Julie and her bandmates as she sings, "I'd do 'em all if I could, clap your hands if you think you would; every record-- every song, every chorus--sing along; every rhythm-- every key, every style-- don't limit me; I'd do 'em all...". This song is a true delight, keeping up with the zest that Julie promised us at the beginning of the album.

A recurrent theme on Julie Clark's "Change Your Mind" is beauty: the beauty that society imposes upon us and the so-called "beauty" for sale in magazines versus real beauty-- the ultimate of which is the beauty in ourselves that we all hopefully discover on our journey through life. How fitting it is, then, that "Change Your Mind" is-- as you may have guessed I'm gonna say-- a real beauty of an album. And, it's ready for your discovery.

Jed Ryan
DishMiss.com
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Maryann Swinson

Thank you!
I couldn't wait for her second cd to come out and I love this just as much as her first cd...can't help but experience both tears and smiles when listening to Julie...her music has a healing touch
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krisL


Awesome, as expcected
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Erin Lee

Loved FEEL FREE
I must say that the first cd had something that this one lacks for me. Don't get me wrong. It's good, but after many listens I feel it lacks that spark that moves me. Women singer songwriters have come a long way and artists like Jonatha Brooke and Shawn Colvin set a very high bar indeed. Live and on their albums. Not a bad cd, just less than I expected after such a long wait. Nice instruments. Liked the banjo on track three.
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Arthur C. Haines

Change Your Mind
Like other reviewers, I was waiting with anticipation for Julie Clark's second album. Often Sophomore efforts are a dissappointment - not this one! Change Your Mind is the equal of Feel Free in every way. Buy it without hesitancy.
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Skip Friel

A Gem
This CD is a listening pleasure throughout. The lyrics provide an emotional journey and there is a wonderful depth of tone in the mix of instruments.
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Jeanne Pugh

Don't Change Your Mind!!
Buy this cd only if you love great music...it's amazing. I have listened to it nonstop. To call Julie simply a singer/songwriter is like calling the Great Wall of China just a picket fence. She pours her soul out like a cool waterfall. Take the leap.
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