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JURUDA MUSIC The Magic Queen (2008)

Juruda Music

Images give rise to certain expectations. In the case of Juruda Music - a four piece from Denmark built around vocalist Juruda and keyboard player Lars Boutrup - that's a rock band with experience and edge. Not young guns, but experienced pros, the sleeve shots show the band dressed in black and looking lean and mean, while Juruda exudes sexuality - head to one side, long blonde locks and tight jeans.

Unfortunately 'edge' is not on the band's agenda. Instead they are intent on creating rock music with harmonies and a touch of softness. Melodic rock with a twist of pop. And from that perspective The Magic Queen hits the bullseye.

The opening track Starting From Scratch brings to mind River City People perhaps dabbling with U2's All I Want Is You, with a hint of Abba in the keyboards. Sweet Loving Lady is a pure slice of Europop while Lost Time could so easily be Sharleen Spiteri's early Texas, especially especially in Juruda's vocals and Tin Soheili's bluesy slide work.

And that pretty much lays the blueprint for the album. No single track stands out and the album flows with a gentle laid back style morphing from pop, folk and rock without ever really breaking sweat. There's hints of Blondie, Abba and Roxette, mixed with understated guitar work in the style of May, Gilmour and more.

For me the whole experience was just a little to europoprock. The irony is that there's some pretty good material here that is screaming out for a Hammond organ, some chunky riff work, and for Juruda to let rip some ball busting vocals. But that's not Juruda Music's modus operandi. A missed opportunity to my mind. Cruise ship rock n roll.


Review by Pete Whalley

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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