Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Shura "Nothing's Real" (2016)


The BBC isn't my usual source of music journalism but their article raving on this Synthpop revival artists debut record caught my attention. From words to music you will loose a lot in translation and as because Shura isn't quite what I expected. This is revivalism in a rather pure form which benefits from three decades of aesthetic progression but stands firmly in the simplistic, formulaic pop roots of the genres era. Its almost a nostalgia trip and offers little new or unexpected ideas but the instrumentals and Shura's comfy, soft, easy on the ears voices caries the record over through its hour playtime.

Shura's range is quite contained, as is her delivery often staying within the safety zone of the colorful instrumentals with softly sung lines snugly fitting into the pleasant mold. Lyrically its rather cliched and atypical with a string of songs on love, what could of been and all the shades between. There's little external perspective or reflection in the lyrics so none of it really had any impact. The hooks are reasonable, nicely delivered but again lacking the depth to land a punch.

The instrumentals are fantastic. To my annoyance they reside within the verse chorus structures but otherwise there is a fantastic chemistry of layered instruments culminating a warm, vibrant and inviting atmosphere of simple pleasures. Lots of little melodic loops come from lively, colorful instruments with lavish synths adding to a continual density. Its a few steps away from being quite thick and far from being minimalist. Its a healthy helping of bright and sunny music with that classic Synthpop charm and musically is where it doesn't steer of that track but aesthetically its a little more expansive and revives the sound to much merit.

With a lack of twists or new ideas the record can be a little disappointing within the atypical pop format. At the same time its instrumentals provide such a vibrant sound that its time is welcome. The same thing apply to Shura's voice, easy and inviting but lacking any spark of uniqueness lyrically. The two add up to a record that's got looks but no brains. Its company is most welcome but doesn't leave much of a mark beyond its moment.

Favorite Tracks: What Happened To Us, Tongue Tied, The Space Tapes
Rating: 6/10

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