Album Review: Mojo Juju – Mojo Juju (2012)

Mojo Juju is one of those acts that you’ll find extremely difficult to pin into a genre. You’re guaranteed one thing though, the self-titled album from this unique songstress is quite the raunchy seduction for your ears.

You may recognise our leading lady from originally fronting the Novocastrian ensemble known as the Snake Oil Merchants. A group that toured extensively all over this big brown land for around 6 years. The nomadic lifestyle of the touring musician is one that our front-woman has been familiar with since childhood and this is a strong component of the album Mojo JuJu style and lyrics.

From the outset we’re launched into an almost 1940’s-esque mystery novel narrative with “Pony Takes A Powder”. I swear the opening oboe strains sound like The Pink Panther theme and the slow doo-wop scats and police sirens just add more character to this song. It’s actually quite minimal with barely noticeable snare to keep the beat moving and strategically placed guitar riffs adding light to the shade.
This theme continues with “Frankie Baby”, you can just imagine our vocalist Ms JuJu stroking the microphone all sexy-like whilst the electric piano (sounding more like a Hammond organ) and trumpeter lull you into a smooth soulful groove as you dream of going on long road trips with your significant other.

I’d really like to say this is a blues-jazz record but putting an over-arching label would be a huge disservice to it. “The Thing I Can’t Erase” is almost bordering on country and will surely make you want to start a hoedown with its clap-alongs and toe tapping beat. While “Parisian Rain”, despite the title, has a cha-cha Latino feel thanks to some egg shakers, short sharp brass bursts and cow bell.

As mentioned earlier Mojo Juju’s lyrics imbue a sense of movement, travel and journeys. “Train Along The Hawkesbury” recounts stories of fellow commuters that share the 2 hour train trip from Newcastle to Sydney and back. While “Drive On” our albums closing track sums up this entire nomadic lifestyle with the opening lyrics “Everything I have, fits inside a suitcase, everywhere I’ve ever been, I never left no trace…”. This song sounds a little melancholy but there’s a sense of romance about the idea of being able to just dump all your troubles and leave for a destination unknown.

Make sure you listen to this record with a red scarf over your lampshade and a glass of your preferred alcoholic (or non) poison in hand and just get lost.

Review Score: 8.6 out of 10


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Carina Nilma

Office lackey day-job. Journalist for The AU Review night-job. Emotionally invested fangirl.