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June Star - Telegraph

  by Gary Wollen

published: 28 / 4 / 2002

June Star - Telegraph
Label: Safe House
Format: CD


"Beautiful " third offering from June Star, which, despite a country tagging, proves too to be far more than this, but also music with a genuine sense of soul

I don’t want to waste precious review words here on the negativity of pigeonholing, when instead I should be expounding the virtues of this absolutely beautiful album. Really, though, we should try to clear the air first. Disregard the patter, the verbal honing of the album, because this offering is a litany of country jargon that can only serve to confuse and distract us, YES US !, from what is a marvellous body of work. These words or in certain cases phrases merely make cameos, albeit at every utterly delightful turn. These though are simply that. Cameos or scant reverberations from a direction of sound too broad to be merely bagged and tagged by the label country. This essentially is music from and for the soul, not the head. In the same way Dylan or the Flying Burrito Brothers is soul. In the same way that Orange Juice or Felt are soul. Don’t try to understand how a song like 'Wedding Girl' with its haunting, mournful, lilting melody can sound so painful and yet so thoroughly uplifting. Don’t try to figure out the five boys from this group can tug at your clichéd heartstrings when, in 'If I ', they sing “if I fell in love with you, I wouldn’t have stayed at home…”, and seduce you to sing along to each American tinted refrain in 'Follow Me.'. They tangle with the superficial pop beast on the song 'New Jordan' and win hands down delivering it as a superb shambling effort. Just surrender your soul and rejoice in the beauty and gentle swagger that is this album. As I said file this under country if strict rigid apartheid is your bag. For me though the creative output on this works on more levels than a simplistic categorising. If you can’t hear the soul here, then you really are missing something quite excellent , and it will be a very long lifetime with that kind of thinking. Such trifling details like the semantics and positioning of a band or album in the current marketplace should not deter the listener. The fact that 'Telegraph' sits absolutely nowhere in the current popular spectrum should inspire many more people to seek it out and discover its brooding, yet undeniably enriching delights. You see a band can’t make an album as poignantly beautiful, haunting and robustly gentle as this with only one definitive musical framework to follow and without breaking a few fences. After you have taken these plaintive almost spiritual songs to your heart, you will realise that defining musical boundaries and details are by and large peripheries. This music is truly inspirational, and quite clearly created by people who very obviously care and ultimately believe in their music and message completely. If, at this point I may offer just one little pearl of wisdom and just to show a little balance….skip track one. The opener 'Thrown' merely proves that these boys are human after all. It is exactly this weakness which makes the rest of this album so touching and compulsive.

Track Listing:-
1 Thrown
2 If I
3 Wedding Girl
4 New Jordan
5 Felled
6 Shoot Down That Monkey
7 Leaving/Breathing
8 Follow Me
9 Telluride
10 Telegraph

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