Review Summary: Bluejuice's second album features a change to the old, but is for the better.
In 2007, when the Australian indie/pop/funk/ska/hip hop group Bluejuice released their debut full length Problems
, people embraced them with great appreciation. Bluejuice were able to blend many different genres together and create an extraordinary sound that had not really been heard before. Head of The Hawk
, sees Bluejuice once again bringing the mix and mash of genres together but in a more subtle way, with a more funk/ska vibe then they had done previously.
After the release of Problems
the 5 piece gained a huge following with the single ‘Vitriol’ which instantly became a "hit" single, making it a hard task to follow up to such a unique album, since the sound they created on Problems
was special. Though on Head of The Hawk
Bluejuice has headed for a more straight up rock vibe, as well as keeping the funk and ska tinged roots.
The album includes probably one of the best tracks/video clips of 2009, being ‘Broken Leg.’ A heavily laden synth with 80’s influenced guitar riffs and duel vocals makes this song sound gruff, but includes a large fun factor. The video clip is also priceless, as the band takes part in a skipping championship. While ‘Broken Leg’ is the main standout track, it is backed up with some seriously catchy tunes. ‘Facelift’ follows a ska feel and is quite a dance-y song, while the lyrics poke fun at people who have plastic surgery, I need a facelift/I’m looking older
. ‘Work’ is another highlight, with its laid back feel and fantastic vocal harmonies, layers and synth part, making this song sensational.
Bluejuice have left their traditional hip hop roots to make a more mainstream album, albeit Problems
was still quite successful. Leaving the hip hop roots behind Bluejuice have leaned more towards a ska/funk and rock hybrid. This has vastly improved their sound, giving them some more flexibility with the mainstream, also it has allowed their major weapon, the synth, to dominate in more tracks.
As good as the majority of this album is, it lacks consistency in some areas, as some of the tracks begin to sound the same, though this is a rarity since it is really only shown in the two closing tracks, ‘The Devil’ and ‘We Can Get Around’ as they don’t stimulate the listener as much as the previous tracks and they sound like they have been done many times before.
While Bluejuice are widely unknown, Head Of The Hawk
is set to change that as it is one of the best releases of the year. The smooth mix of rock and ska/funk will have most listeners engaged for hours, giving the album maximum replay. Bluejuice have successfully backed up their remarkable with an even more remarkable sophomore release proving that they are stayers in the music world and their future is definitely looking bright.