Julie Corbalis "Old Flames & New Names"

Julie Corbalis
"Old Flames & New Names"

CD review by Roger-Z (08/15/09)
Appeared in More Sugar, September 2009, P. 12A

Looking at the creamy beauty of Julie Corbalis, you'd never guess this real-life school teacher has a thing for "bad boys." But poor choices in men abound on Ms. Corbalis' first solo effort, "Old Flames & New Names". Thankfully, all these cheaters and liars make for great listening. The recording and engineering by Fred Gillen Jr. showcase Corbalis in a pristine, stark light. The arrangements keep the focus on her smoky voice and acoustic guitar with the occasional backing band.

Corbalis' reactions to these scoundrels varies from abject heartbreak, to wistfulness, to turnaround is fair play. The country waltz, "Should've Stayed Away" clearly states the premise of this CD. "Now I always knew that you were a bad boy. Stories of old flames and new names jumped from your lips. Don't ask me why you're so appealing, it's just the right combination that I can't resist." In the funky blues of "Jersey City," she declares her freedom from her straying lover. "You got lots of fine woman but you come back to me. Well what once was ok ain't no longer what I need... You can count the times that we've been her before. I supply the rope and now you've hung yourself." But the pain really hits in the piano ballad, "Don't Feel Better." "It don't feel better than before, cuz you still hear me beg for more... I know there's so much more to you, you're just one stupid, handsome man in a row of fools. I don't want you and I don't need you, no no more." The pattern continues with the sultry "No Good." "You call up every night just to say, 'How you do?' Knowin' full well I don't wanna hear from you. So do us all a good deed and take these words that you heed... You're no good for me." But lest you think this pretty angel can do no wrong, listen to Corbalis merrily stalk her neighbor while her boyfriend's out of the apartment. "I keep the windows open so my cats can size up all your fish." But the inevitable pain returns in the waltz, "Turn Away." Here, a child longs for the father that never comes. "I told myself so many times I got someone better than you. If you see me now I don't know if I could ask that you turn away."

Funny how personal pain translates so well on record. It's a damn shame Julie Corbalis had so much bad luck in love. But it sure makes for a great CD.

2009 Roger-Z