‘She Lost Her Head’ - Juana Ghani "... no boundaries and fewer restrictions, recognised or accepted"(July 23, 2014)
There’s an English phrase that entirely sums up any ‘love it or hate it’ instance with nothing in between – it’s a ‘Marmite moment’. For those unfamiliar with Marmite, it’s essentially bottled brewer's yeast concentrated into a dark-brown spread with a distinctive, powerful salty flavour - some adore it, others despise it. Were I prone to laying down my cash in a betting manner I would suggest that ‘She Lost Her Head’ from Juana Ghani fits into a classic ‘Marmite moment’. And in the way of things that possess a difference from the ordinary, this time with an equally descriptive French phrase, ‘chacun à son goût’ … and I loved it!
The music is a savage, unrestricted mix of tradition, overlaid with rocking dynamism, suffused with unstoppable gypsy lust and dark desire, with an added touch of punk attitude. The soul of a wandering troubadour meets with a ‘take it or leave it’ approach built on the free-living nomadic essence that sets up home where the wheels stop turning. There are no boundaries and fewer restrictions, recognised or accepted. The intense feeling of musical freedom is so strong you could reach out and touch it. This album is as close to musical theatre as much as it is a sound recording, and it’s highly addictive. One listen tugs you into Juana Ghani's world of Eastern European inspired multi-influenced music and lyrics with a pull so strong you’re instantly living it.
What of the album? Proceedings open with a manic polka ‘Watch It All Burn’ – a definite no-compromises anthem and doubtless a ‘live’ favourite. There’s a plaintive fiddle edge to ‘One Man Dead’ equally intense and forceful, in contrast ‘Na Zdorovie’ offers the slowly seductive attraction of a heady drinking song. From there it’s a short step into the magical enchantment of ‘Spanish Raven’, the psychosis tinged tale of meanderings of Voices’ or the ultimately desperate madness within ‘She Lost Her Head’.
Listen to Juana Ghani and you’ll hear life-experience augmented by tall tales, itinerant wandering and wild fantasies, all resulting in an album that lifts ‘different’ onto an altogether more individual level. Find ‘She Lost Her Head’ here: www.juanaghani.com. Try it, you’ll love it.
Reviewer: Tim Carroll