Even though she’s still best known as the ‘I Kissed A Girl’ girl of 1995 (from her self-titled album of that year), Jill Sobule deserves a larger following solely based on the material that she has released since that headline-provoking song. Having an uncanny ability to forge her dry humor into a folk-styled musical backdrop, Jill has created an amazing catalogue of witty, well-crafted songs.
Jill’s first album, Things Here Are Different was released in 1990 and doesn’t possess the humor she’s known for today. Even though it was a solid effort from a debut artist, it didn’t register with much of the public.
Five years later, Jill resurfaced with her self-titled album, which spawned the novelty hit, ‘I Kissed A Girl’ and ‘Supermodel,’ which was widely used in the film, Clueless. The more mature, (yet still not barren of laughs) Happy Town arrived in 1997 and the equally superb Pink Pearl arrived three years later. Jill’s next record, Underdog Victorious, is slated to be released in September.
Having written songs inspired from such infamous people as Mary Kay Laternaue and Joey Heatherton, Jill herself entertains the thought of one day releasing an album of “E! True Hollywood” stories. My guess is that she has a lot of great material to choose from.
The song ‘Bitter’ is taken from Jill’s third album Happy Town and begins with a loud, thumping beat, exercising an array of sonic effects. Based on the line, “And the one who made it, made it ’cause her breasts were really big,” I interpret the song to be about Jill’s frustration with the music business and how quickly record companies were willing to take fluff over substance. Some critics belived that the song was also a swipe at singer/songwriter, Jewel. But feel free to draw your own conclusions.
The live cut of ‘Mexican Wrestler,’ (originally released on 2000’s Pink Pearl) was recorded on September 24, 2001 on The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn. Like many of Jill’s songs, it contains its funny moments, but the listener won’t be sure whether they should laugh or feel sorry for the song’s subject.
On Jill’s wonderful official site, you can also find a rotating selection of some of her great songs, many of which have yet to be officially released. ‘Mickey & Me’ is one such song about a bumbling new waitress who is constantly spilling her drinks on her customers, but has somehow enamored a handsome patron, so much so that he jots down his number for her on a napkin. Unfortunately, she later uses it to clean up another spill. Tragic, but hilarious.
Although I have yet to see her perform live, I hear this is where Jill truly shines. Not only do you get to hear her unique blend of music, but you get her candid personality, which is nothing short of stand-up at times. Be prepared for one-of-a-kind moments, as when Jill’s mother phones her in the middle of her set and happily obliges in helping her sing ‘Big Shoes’ over the telephone. This song was performed at The Tin Angel in Philadelphia on February 10, 2002. The audience there loved it. I’m sure you will too.