Music Reviews

Shura forevher

(Secretly Canadian) Buy it from Insound Rating - 7/10

The opening song off Shura’s sophomore record has a total of twelve words and a few sparse piano chords. It’s only a minute and some change, but that’s me, just a sweet melody ideally introduces the listener to forevher. It’s a song that almost has the tone of a lullaby. What’s notable about the inclusion of a one minute intro is that it tells us that the album is a bit looser and more sprawling effort than what Shura’s made before. The key part of that’s me, just a sweet melody is when it transitions quickly and smoothly into side effects because as soon as the huge drums, baggy synths, and funky guitar parts drop in, you realize that not too much has changed with Shura.

forevher feels like it’s immersed in the headrush and infatuation that comes with falling in love, creating a mood that it sticks to for the entire record. Splitting the difference in between the tighter, funkier pop of 2016’s Nothing’s Real, and psychedelic bedroom pop, the sophomore slump has been averted, destroyed, and stomped on here. The record works excessively well as a collection of equally fluffy and snappy pop songs. Furthermore, the overarching ideas of adoration and long-distance relationships help hold the record together thematically. All of these traits come across with the shimmering guitars, fluid synths, and sharp drums that anchor the album highlight the stage. When adding all of these things together, the track magically splits the difference between Elton John, Tame Impala, and Janet Jackson.

Nothing on the record really compares to the track flyin’, in which Shura uses religious imagery to display long-distance relationship anxieties. The thumping kick of the pre-chorus is infectious and sticky, until the song melts into a chorus that’s equal parts beautiful and saccharine. The power of the song really lies in the verses though, which somehow recall the Hall & Oates classic She’s Gone with the soulful hints of strings and the quiet, hesitant tap of the drums. An equally punchy and cliche track follows with forevher, which is nearly sold by Shura’s passionate vocals alone. The only real problem on the title track is the chorus, which is almost childish in its simplicity. Thankfully, the theatrical beats of the pre-chorus are so joyful that the two almost cancel out.

The only real issue that Shura faces on forevher is that the record can be too much of a good thing. The psychedelic grooves that back the project can almost be suffocating, not allowing melodies or choruses to flourish on tracks that feel like a huge hook could bring them to perfection. control moves and struts comfortably, almost recalling the snappiness of some 90s soul, but the chorus sadly doesn’t land. The record doesn’t really have a bad song, more a weak spot in the back to back tracks BKLYNLDN and tommy—the former slows the tempo and loses any semblance of power in the production, and the latter feels like a slow build to nothing.

The alluring funk of forevher is exemplified on a track like the closer skyline, be mine. While the groove may suffocate other tracks, skyline, be mine doesn’t need much more than a few lines and the funkiest beat of the record to succeed. The song starts slowly, but builds texture as it adds a cutting synth in the first chorus. None of it really peaks until after the second chorus as the slow burn pays off, releasing the tension with a sort of explosion. By the time the dreamy guitars hit, you’re already looking to return to the dense world of forevher.