Like Peter Himmelman before him, rustic folkie Richard Julian imagines Manhattan as a series of sepia-toned vignettes, like a heavy-lidded version of Woody Allen's Manhattan. Real New Yorkers know the city in the grips of gentrification from Harlem to the Bowery is anything but romantic, but Julian's shambling, acoustic ramblers provide an escape anyone can enjoy, regardless of locale. Songs like "Cheap Guitar," "A Short Biography" and "Slow New York" make the most of Julian's syrup-and-gravel voice and subtle acoustic guitar work, drawing you in with quick delivery and intimate storytelling. His weathered attitude and intricate arrangements are often meatier than his songs, resulting in crafted moods and spent tales that lasts only a little past a casual listen.
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