UNTIL THE LIGHT FADES
Muscular yet Beautiful Songs From the Heart For The Heart Broken
In this technological era many acts have forgotten the effect that great cover art can have on a release; not so here with Juanita Stein’s second release; UNTIL THE LIGHT FADES.
With a nod towards some classic album covers of the 1960’s the picture of a sad and lonely young woman sitting at a street corner paints a picture made up of a thousand words all on its own; and would have made me take a risk on £10 had I seen it in a record shop.
So; does the music live up to the cover.
Yes, is the short answer.
A slow jangly guitar leads into a ghostly woman’s voice with so much echo, it’s difficult to make out what she’s actually singing the first time I heard it; but that doesn’t matter as the ethereal beauty she creates; in a way Kate Bush once mastered and harnessed; drifts over you until it’s brittle beauty almost smothers you.
Subsequently; the song itself has a really inspiring sensitiveness to it.
BANG! The electric guitars and crack shot drum kit come out of the cupboard on the second song, Forgiveness and now now Juanita takes us to the dark side of lonely street; with a song I bet Chrissie Hynde wishes she could still write!
The more the album progresses it’s evident that the opening track was just there to lull you into a false sense of security; as Juanita Stein is a bit of a Rocker Girl at heart.
This isn’t loud Rock Music though; very Alt. perhaps even a kind of Modern Indie or if I’m not wrong New New Wave, if you will.
I love the guitar playing on In Your Hands as it is deliberately sloppy; in a Ronnie Wood style, and on Silver Lining there’s even a hint of Prince in the shadows; but Juanita’s distinctive and, it has to be said……sexy voice and harmonies, takes both songs into the territory Blondie, the Bangles and The Pretenders ruled the charts with several decades ago; but Ms. Stein and gang giving them a very modern shine and polish.
As always at RMHQ we actually take the time to listen to the words and couplets that the songwriter has gone to the bother of writing; and the anger and energy that Juanita produces as she virtually spits out Easy Street and especially Get Back To The City is well worth the entrance fee alone, with it’s brilliant opening it’s opening line “Sometimes even the cool girls/end up with the assholes.”
Thankfully this isn’t all bile and venom; and I’m not even sure those words describe those two songs; as this is an album written from the heart of a young woman who is still living life; both good bits and sad, with the twang of Fast Lane and the ethereal French Film proving marvelous counter balances to the hormonal love songs that litter this album.
Then of course I must pull out a Favourite Song for your delectation; mustn’t I? Any album with a song called Cool on it will always draw my attention; and this bittersweet anti-love song certainly came close; but I’m plumping for the modern Gothic of Release Me which sends shivers down my spine every time I hear it; and you can’t ask for more than that, can you?
I’m out of touch with the music that young people like these days; but I’m pretty sure if I was an angsty young student living away from home for the first time; I’m confident that there’s more than enough here to satisfy that type of midnight heartbreak; but then again as an appreciator of well written and well produced songs sung by a distinctive and extraordinary voice it works for me too.
Released August 31st 2018