Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Julian Marley

  • Awake [Universal Republic, 2010] B

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Awake [Universal Republic, 2010]
It's the curse of audibly inherited talent. Whatever your own limitations, which are often considerable, invidious comparisons shadow your every move as you negotiate between the arrogance of the privileged and the confidence of the born performer--and as your fans try not to wish you were someone else. This album has its moments--the well-worked title cut, a little homily called "All I Know," the "in a good way" aside after "everyone's going crazy" (on the dancefloor, he wishes). But for the most part it's as heavy-handed as Julian's close-but-no-spliff variation on his fathers timbre and phrasing. Granted, tracks eight and nine do give one hope--until one realizes that the agents of hope are Mr. Cheeks and brother Damian, respectively. B