I guess I could have picked some other release for review, since I’m only posting 1-2 per month of those. It’s not like Yuna, with over a million Likes on Facebook and with forces behind as powerful as mighty Pharrell desperately needs extra promotion from my miniscule web entity. So this is just for your benefit, dear reader, for it’s easy for an indie music hound like myself to miss a mainstream release that is actually, well, really damn good. It may not work for you if you like your electronica super-dark and with tons of heavy beats and drops. There isn’t much hip-hop here either, the album floats somewhere between Morcheeba-esque mellow beats and melodies that reminded me of Frou Frou (a lot). Just listen to the first track, “Lullabies”, and if the magic of Yuna‘s voice won’t work on you then
you’re a heartless human being don’t bother listening to the rest of the record. Yes, it is an incredibly sweet album, even the less optimistic songs (like my favorite “Fading Flower”, which is a pretty bitter number if you ask me) are suspended in the lighthearted fluff of Yuna‘s heavenly vocals, airy beats and playful instrumental arrangements. So fuckin’ what? One of my co-workers once said: “I feel sorry for people who don’t like chocolate. Their lives must be very sad.” I feel sorry for people who don’t like this kind of music. I might be feeling a bit nostalgic right now, but I just feel like ever since that Frou Frou album there wasn’t a record that delivered such clean, clear, sweet listening pleasure. I think the consistency of the album is the main reason I liked it so much. There simply isn’t a single bad song on Yuna, they all vary from just good to stunningly beautiful. There is no needless experimentation or desperate trend following, it’s all about just simply being good, knowing that you’re good and using that goodness to the fullest. While you can easily spot Pharrell-produced tracks, nothing feels forced, Yuna‘s vocals roll freely with that signature rhythm of his. There are moments of quiet intensity, like in “Lullabies”, ventures into “a girl with mandolin” (“Tourist”) territory, and the album can easily survive being broken into separate tracks for soundtrack and compilation purposes. But why would you pull apart a beautiful bouquet if you can enjoy it in it’s meticulously composed entirety? I would advise against it. Savor this album there might be another decade until the next one like this.
R.I.Y.L. Frou Frou, Morcheeba, Raffaello candy
personal favs: “Fading Flower”, “Lullabies”, “Live Your Life”