Here's my review:
Rock Me Goddess" is a superb collection of new songs and re-recordings by Sixties folk legend Julie Felix, released to coincide with her 80th birthday concert in 2018. It includes thirteen songs; nine of which were written by Julie. Miraculously, the album contains some of Julie's finest work to date. She is accompanied by a fine array of musicians, including Will Cartwright (bass and drums), Peter Knight (violin), and Shannon Smy (backing vocals).
The opening track "Rock Me Goddess" is a vibrant and uplifting song written by Dave Carter. This is followed by a personal favourite of mine; Julie's own composition "Abalone Shell", a deeply moving song with some beautiful accompanying violin. Track three "Over the Sea (on Wings of Waste)" has an ecological theme, with string arrangements and pan flutes. Next up is the serene song, "The Heron”, which evokes imagery of wildlife and nature.
One song that that Julie has re-recorded for this album is “Beside the Fjord” (which originally appeared as “Beside the Still Fjord” on her album “Clotho’s Webb”). This is a heartfelt and emotive song written for Julie’s friend Marianne Ihlen, who was immortalised in Leonard Cohen’s anthem “So Long Marianne”. Julie met and befriended the couple on the island of Hydra in the Sixties, and wrote the song for Marianne when she and Leonard separated. Another song that Julie has re-recorded here, is Dory Previn’s evocative “The Lady with the Braid”, featured on her classic album “Mythical Kings and Iguanas”. Julie covers the song admirably.
In true Sixties spirit, Julie includes two rousing recent songs with political themes. One of these is “Tiger Eyes” with lines such as “the global elite they hold the reins/they put us to sleep with video games, celebrity shows, and tabloid trash while Simon Cowell pulls in the cash”. In “Corbinista” Julie’s tribute to our Labour leader, she sings “I’ve been marching for fifty years/seen too many wars and too many tears/I still believe in democracy/that’s why I’m voting for Jeremy”. Here, the songs have musical embellishment, but Julie’s live solo versions are also great.
Appropriately, the album ends with a new version of Julie’s song “Woman”; an ode to women and the feminine in all of her forms. Julie now combines the mythic imagery of the original version with a “me too” chant. This has become her theme song. There is not one weak track on “Rock Me Goddess”, and it’s one of those rare albums that will captivate you from start to finish. In conclusion, it is a remarkable achievement for Julie Felix.
The CD comes in a beautifully-designed double gate fold sleeve, with two great colour photos of Julie.
Review by John Etherington
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