Alternative / Easy Listening

One Day in June

Artist: Urusen

Distributed by: The Almighty Rooftop Record Company


Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            When you are trying to push a product on the market – any market – that product had better have a pretty package.  Pretty packages catch the attention of consumers and make them curious as to the contents.  They want to open that package and discover the wonders of the product inside.  If any one thing can be said about the promoters of the band Urusen, it’s that they present one heckuva pretty package for their clients.  When I received One Day in June, a sixteen-track album wrapped up in a heavy maroon cardboard case with a brightly colored illustration on the cover and pockets on the interior containing a plethora of information about the album, I was intrigued.  What a pretty package, I thought.  Is the music contained on the CD inside just as pretty?  Well, with that terrific packaging, I was mesmerized.  I simply had to pop One Day in June into the CD player and discover the wonders of the product contained in the pretty packaging.

            Urusen began as a musical partnership between two British cousins – Peter Beatty and Ben Please.  The name of the band is an anagram for the word unsure and was adopted by the cousins when they produced their first album in 2003.  Since then, the band has grown to five members with Peter Beatty performing vocals, guitar, charango, and percussion; Ben Please performing vocals, guitar, charango, piano and percussion; Nick Ullman on cello and percussion; Jay Darwish on double and electric bass; and Rob Summers on drums and violin.  The band was recently highlighted as a British breakthrough talent by Music Week and a band to watch by Metro Newspaper One Day in June represents a new endeavor for Urusen as musicians and now producers as they released this record through their own label, The Almighty Rooftop Record Company.

            The music found in One Day in June is amazingly soothing, with a sound deeply influence by folk song.  I’m a huge fan of acoustic guitars and harmonic voices and Urusen supplies quite a bit of both on this album.  The very first song on the album, Vote for Me seemed absolutely perfect for the present time as we in the United States prepare to choose our next President.  The song is a sort of social commentary about how politicians sell themselves to their voters.  Each succeeding song, whether they contain lyrics or not, is more enjoyable than the first with distinct melodies and harmony.  I loved the use of harmonicas, guitars and charangos that give the music a rather authentic folk song quality. 

            Some of the lyrics on the album are rather catchy – case in point, the tenth track of the album, Hugo.  I found myself singing along with the chorus, “I wanna go where / wherever you go, Hugo” after hearing the song for the first time.  The beginning of Nosediving reminds me of an old Beatles tune.  The lyrics are a tad cryptic, just like Beatles songs of the Maharishi period of their career.  Once you think about the meaning behind some of the cryptic stuff, you discover this is another social commentary set to quite enjoyable music.  Yet another pretty package containing something special – a message about society.  The last song of the album, End of the Night is somewhat an ode to the audience as the band sings their goodbyes and their hopes that you have enjoyed your journey through their music.

            The album comes with a small booklet of artwork featuring a young man as he travels through a journey of a lifetime.  The young man’s name is – cleverly enough – Urusen.  The album art reminds me of the artwork in an old cartoon I haven’t seen in years – the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine.  I would have liked to have seen some song lyrics in this booklet, but, believe me, I’m not complaining – such a pretty product in pretty packaging, after all. 

            Thus, in listening to One Day in June by Urusen, I discovered that sometimes when a product is sold in pretty packaging, the contents are just as great as the outer shell.  I thoroughly enjoyed this album – the soothing acoustical sound, the harmonic vocals, the folk feel to the music.  One Day in June is an enjoyable musical experience you won’t want to miss out on.  So pick up your copy of One Day in June, available at iTunes, Amazon.co.uk and independent record shops across the United Kingdom.

For more about Urusen, visit their website at www.urusen.co.uk or www.myspace.com/urusen     
     

For feedback, visit our message board or e-mail the author at talonkarrde@g-pop.net.