Julia Greenberg Past Your Eyes

This is another very fine release from Cropduster, a label formed by artists for artists. Julia Greenberg doesn’t come to this collectivist notion lightly, having learned how to play guitar in a leftist summer camp. But she’s no folksinger, as she sings in one of the album’s strongest songs: “I tried to write a protest song but everything I object to is already proven wrong.” This is merely one example of the sharp songwriting that abounds on Past Your Eyes. Musically, there is a definite Costello influence on songs like “June,” and “Happy New Year.” If I were forced to pick another artist that she resembles vocally, it would be probably be Sam Phillips. Some songs rock quite well, and others like “Pitiful You,” even feature girl-group backing vocals to boot. The bittersweet, country-tinged “Stars,” has been in heavy rotation in my CD player. The song and the album definitely deserve a wide audience — there’s not a single misstep here, and at ten tracks, it’s definitely not self-indulgent. (Cropduster)