Juliagrace - Juliagrace

Published Wednesday 6th September 2006
Juliagrace - Juliagrace
Juliagrace - Juliagrace

RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 19523-10286
LABEL: Parachute PMD032
RRP: £7.99

Reviewed by Lins Honeyman

Every so often, an album comes along that makes you wonder how you survived without it in your collection. New Zealand songstress Juliagrace's eponymous debut is very much in this category and only rarely do first albums achieve the standard on display here. Juliagrace was previously the singer with Auckland-based electronica outfit Elevator, and, whilst this obvious electronic influence underpins the proceedings, a variety of musical styles are weaved throughout the album from pop to grunge with a touch of ambient thrown in for good measure. Juliagrace's voice has a gentle and absorbing quality that is characteristic of many female-led electronica bands but she also has an edge and a strength to her vocals that comes to the front when needed. The quality of songwriting is simply outstanding with all songs penned by Juliagrace - many of which have been co-written with husband Brendan Vucich and producer Nic Manders. Juliagrace has managed to maintain a spiritual honesty within her songs that subtly points to God whilst presenting a realism of the struggles of life and the outcome is refreshingly accessible. A flaw in some of today's songwriting - both Christian and mainstream - is that conclusions are already drawn for the listener within the lyrics and Juliagrace thankfully bucks the trend by generally drawing an outline in her lyricism that allows the listener to fill in the blanks and be intrigued at the same time. Each of the 10 tracks stand out in their own right but my own personal favourites are the deceptively simple "Why Is She Crying" and the Madonna-tinged electronic disco track "Reflection". Elsewhere, songs such as "Carry Me Away" and "Beautiful One" are pure worship and, due to the expert writing and presentation of these songs by Juliagrace and her producer, would be as acceptable on mainstream radio as they would be in the CCM industry. Ivan Beets' rap in the opener "Tin Cars" is worthy of a mention and is typical of some of the surprise elements that are included in some of the tracks - not to mention Brendan Vucich's colourful bleeps and vinyl tweaks as credited in the sleevenotes! This is a stunning album.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

Interested in reviewing music? Find out more here.

Sample Track Listing:
1. TIn Cars [Listen]
2. Carry Me Away [Listen]
3. Never Be Alone [Listen]
4. Beautiful One [Listen]
5. Why Is She Crying [Listen]
6. Reflection [Listen]
7. Electrical [Listen]
8. Wrapped In Plastic [Listen]
9. Stars [Listen]
10. Grace [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

Product Description
Julia’s love of music started from a very early age. 'My parents paid for fifteen years of piano lessons which have proven invaluable for songwriting and the basis for my singing career.'
Julia is an experienced vocalist, performer and vocal tutor. Connecting with God on a personal level is a big part of who she is as a musician and songwriter. The interest in Julia Grace lies in a juxtaposition of sparkling vocals and vulnerable and open lyrics, set against a sonic backdrop of synthesised rhythms and organic instrumentation.
Julia’s debut album contains 10 tracks encompassing sweeping and beautiful sound scapes, compelling and sophisticated rhythms and solid melodies that won’t let you go

Be the first to comment on this article

We welcome your opinions but libellous and abusive comments are not allowed.

We are committed to protecting your privacy. By clicking 'Send comment' you consent to Cross Rhythms storing and processing your personal data. For more information about how we care for your data please see our privacy policy.