An urgent, incisive document that highlights her obvious growth...
'Nothing's Real'

It’s hard to believe it’s been over two years since Shura first released ‘Touch’ into the blogosphere. Despite a couple of years seeming like a lifetime in this digital age, it hasn’t tarnished the effervescent glow of that breakthrough single. In fact, the wait has only added to the fevered anticipation of her debut album ‘Nothing’s Real’.

The first foray sees the singer-songwriter/producer navigate her way around the obstacles of her 20s, covering everything from panic attacks in the title-track to the inevitability of her parents dying in ‘New Year 311215’ and shattered futures in ‘Kidz & Stuff’. But whatever the crisis, Shura offers the sweetest antidote in her gloriously infectious ’80s pop.

Previously heard tracks still stand up as pop juggernauts but there’s an obvious growth that has happened during the two-year wait; sonically and lyrically, Shura is at her most urgent and incisive.

The title track proves a highlight: its intergalactic swirls and disco-strut hark back to Janet Jackson’s ‘Velvet Rope’ era, while her short phrasing and ethereal tone screams Madonna. Although it’s easy to slap comparisons across her sound, the voice underpinning it all is peerless. Was ‘Nothing’s Real’ worth the wait? Absolutely.

8/10

Words: Lisa Henderson

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