‘Underdog Victorious’ is a winner

By |2004-04-11T09:00:00-04:00April 11th, 2004|Uncategorized|

It’s been nearly ten years since Jill Sobule’s surprise lesbian-themed hit “I Kissed A Girl” burned up the airwaves and the tongue-in-cheek song “Supermodel” helped make “Clueless” the must-have movie soundtrack of 1995. If you haven’t been keeping up with her career, you’re sadly not alone. Few artists are as underrated as Sobule, so the title of her latest CD, “Underdog Victorious,” is more than appropriate.
Quirky and heartfelt, Sobule spins poetic pop-folk out of everything from living with a roommate and cooking on a hot plate to strapping on a jet pack to visit her beloved in New York.
Oh, and broken hearts – or at least love deferred and unattainable – are a Sobule specialty. In “Strawberry Gloss” Sobule sings from the point of view of a teenaged girl who dreams of kissing her best friend, who’s only interested in “the boys after school.” In “Angel/Asshole” she’s a regretful lover who’s been dumped. “All our friends take your side. They don’t understand my crime and I’m serving my time as you grow more beautiful,” she sings. Then there’s “The Last Line,” about a couple in love – at least until the cocaine runs out. “Searching for a speck of dust just enough for both of us,” she sings, “I knew our love was over.”
But Sobule is never without hope. The title track is a narrative gem about Bobby Trucks, “a fat little boy living in a shitty little town.” Trucks dons a cape and a skin tight suit and dreams of the “day all those dodge ball bullies would dream of his sweet kiss.”
“Under the Disco Ball” is another album highlight. Sobule, who has said she’s “obsessed” with the religious right and ex-gay ministries, sings about right-wing parents scared their son is falling prey to the “homosexual agenda” (which humorously includes “a copy of GQ, the men’s fall fashion issue”).
But for those who claim that love between two people of the same sex is an abomination, Sobule offers up “Nothing Natural,” a tender acoustic love song, in response. “Nothing natural could turn the tide that washes over both our lives. By day we’ll burn, by night we’ll rust, and who knows what becomes of us,” she sings.
As for what will become of Jill Sobule, only time will tell. But “Underdog Victorious” should help her pick up even more devoted fans who dream of the day this too-often overlooked artist will indeed be the victor.

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