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CD Review - Julie Clark 'Change Your Mind'

Julie Clark plays to her strengths (simple melodies, personal lyrics) on
Julie Clark plays to her strengths (simple melodies, personal lyrics) on "Change Your Mind." (By Melina Mara)
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Friday, April 3, 2009

JULIE CLARK "Change Your Mind" Great Big

EVEN THOUGH creativity and originality are highly valued in the music world, that doesn't mean all music has to be different and new to appeal to certain crowds. Take Julie Clark's second full-length album, "Change Your Mind." There's nothing here that you haven't heard before. She sings. She plays the guitar. She throws in a piano, a mandolin or a banjo here and there. The music is straight-up folk with no real complexities, and her lyrics are extremely personal.

Picturing a crowd of women swaying to (and relating to) her tunes -- and enjoying an evening away from the kids -- is not hard to do. There is a place for Clark, who grew up in Vienna. That may not be on the radio or in the hip clubs, but she has a pretty voice, nice melodies and a willingness to open up through her music. Listeners may feel as if Clark were a good friend, chatting with them over coffee.

The title track is the catchiest of the tunes, happy and hopeful. The song "Courage of Our Convictions," with high-hat cymbals on the up beat and the addition of an organ, is as funky as the album gets. Clark definitely stays in her musical comfort zone. But a CD like this is not about stretching. This is music for people who don't want something outside the box, but rather who appreciate simple songs that they can sway to.

-- Moira E. McLaughlin

Appearing Sunday with Karla Bonoff at the Barns at Wolf Trap (703-938-2404, http://www.wolf-trap.org). Doors open at 7 p.m.


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