Contains an untitled hidden track following "Mad World."
Personnel: Gary Jules (vocals, guitar, mandolin, harmonica); Sarah Brysk (vocals); Michael Andrews (guitar, melodica, piano, keyboards, bass, drums, shaker, programming, background vocals); Robert Walter (piano); Matt Lynott, George Sluppick, Pete McNeal (drums).
Recorded at Ed's, San Diego, California; Zeke's, Toluca Lake, California; Elgonix, Glendale, California; Patty's Studio, Hollywood, California.
Californian singer/songwriter Gary Jules took a roundabout route to success, to say the least. His 1998 debut album was released by A&M, but it didn't do much business, and Jules was unceremoniously dropped from his label. His 2001 follow-up coincided with his cover of Tears for Fears's "Mad World" and became a Number One British single (it was featured in the film DONNIE DARKO). A full three years down the road, that album, TRADING SNAKE OIL FOR WOLFTICKETS, finally received a mainstream release and many critical plaudits.
As those familiar with Jules's famous cover tune might guess, the album focuses heavily on ballads. Many songs are drumless, and most of them are based around finger-picked acoustic guitar patterns (and, of course, Jules's reedy, haunting vocals). The first tune bears strong echoes of the Byrds, and many others show a marked Beatles influence, but in the manner of Gen-X troubadours such as Elliott Smith, Jules assimilates those influences and turns out something utterly contemporary. And yes, "Mad World" is here too, but there are plenty more points of interest that flow from Jules's own pen.
What the critics say…
Uncut (3/04, p.95) - 4 stars out of 5 - "Jules is a Los Angeles singer-songwriter who merits the exposure, and his second album is gorgeously warm, forlorn and wounded."
Mojo (Publisher) (2/04, p.98) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[A] lo-fi folk-country affair; acoustic guitar, pattered drums, layered with slide guitar and Jules' soft, tender voice…"
- Broke Window
- No Poetry
- Something Else
- Boat Song
- Umbilical Town
- Princess Of Hollywood Way
- Patchwork G
- Mad World