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Juliet - Random Order


Review: Jack Foley

THE dance scene has been crying out for a female vocalist like Juliet for ages - someone who is prepared to bring something different to the mix, capable of appealing to the mainstream crowd as well as those in search of something better than the signature sounds of Ibiza.

Random Order delivers the goods in spades, marking a major personal triumph for the 25-year-old Philadelphia native (full name, Juliet Richardson), whose first foray into the music scene was as a member of 1 Plus 1 - a chart-pop band that enjoyed only limited UK success.

Here, however, she surrounds herself with a far better soundscape, thanks to the producing skills of Stuart Price – aka Jacques Le Cont of Les Rythmes Digitales and Zoot Woman.

The result is an album dripping with electro-tinged dance anthems, delivered in Juliet's distinctly sexual style and reverberting with an energy that is lacking from most mainstream dance albums.

Former single, Avalon, is a classic example of what to expect - emerging as a hauntingly hypnotic record that sets Juliet’s dusky vocals over some moody, atmospheric beats. It has become a favourite, apparently, with Pete Tong.

Current single, Ride The Pain, is a little more dangerous and much more edgy, pumping up the energy levels and bringing a grittier edge to Juliet's sensual purr.

The nu-wave Nu Taboo is an extremely scuzzed up effort that ups the sexual element still further with more grinding beats and breathy vocals, while Puppet tosses in some sharp blasts of guitar that tip its hat to the rock scene, while demonstrating Juliet's ability to remain diverse.

On The Dancefloor, meanwhile, breaks out into the sort of rhythms that Price is renowned for in Les Rythmes Digitales groove.

Fortunately, however, Juliet doesn't just keep things lively, providing some damn fine chill out tracks for those who want the complete dance experience.

Waiting is an extremely classy record, reminiscent of Madonna at her sexiest in Music mode, that features some impossibly sexy vocals. It is one of the undisputed highlights and perfect for listening to at the end of a long night.

The enchanting New Shoes adds some Eastern flavouring to some of the melodies, although Juliet's aggressive vocals come as quite a surprise and threaten to disrupt the flow.

But the album comes back strong with the likes of the smooth Would You Mind, which finds Juliet resorting to her usual husky style, and Untied, a somewhat retro slice of 80s infused electronica that still manages to retain a contemporary edge.

Final track, Pot of Gold, completes the experience in perfect fashion, mixing acoustic guitars with a breezy, almost flippant beat.

Like its title suggests, it provides the pot of gold at the end of a fantastic musical journey that marks Juliet out as a major new player on the dance scene.

 


Track listing:
1. AU
2. Avalon
3. Nu Taboo
4. Ride The Pain
5. Never Land
6. Puppet
7. On The Dancefloor
8. Waiting
9. New Shoes
10. Would You Mind
11. Untied
12. Pot of Gold

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