March 3, 2012
Review: Judie Tzuke's One Tree Less
Judie Tzuke is flying. The last few years have seen her release some blistering singles, including the heartbreaking If and 2011's urgent love drama, Solid Shoulders. Last fall she released her 17th studio album, One Tree Less.
This is not dancepop: the blistering I mentioned above is of the emotional variety. Title track One Tree Less opens the album with a literal and metaphorical rasp, setting the tone for an album about facing truths and making decisions. The album's finest moment is its saddest: Joy chronicles a teen friendship with an unstable, abused friend. "I always wanted to look just like her. How could I understand how much her beauty hurt?"
Humankind, which Graham Norton took notice of last month on his radio show, is carried by a classically empowering Tzuke lyrical hook: "I can make changes." That line resonates over an album's worth of stories that are intimate and heartfelt. Sadness, joy, empathy and melodicism in equal measures. This is Judie Tzuke.
One Tree Less is available on iTunes or from Judie's site. Her UK tour begins this Friday, March 9, and runs into April.