New well-worn paths

Northern Uproar was one of those mid-90s Britpop bands that didn't quite make it across the Atlantic. The band has been recording and touring fitfully during the last decade, but the death of founding guitarist Jeff Fletcher last year seemed to sound a final bell.

Northern Uproar
Hey Samurai!
It wasn't. Co-founder Leon Meya decided to keep going as Northern Uproar, and this album delves much deeper into his interests in Iberian sounds. There are flamenco flourishes and the occasional bossa nova beat crowding out in to the more expected organ-laden throb.

As such, the effort is more disjointed and less poppy than previous albums, but I kinda like the evolution. Twenty years should provide ample opportunity for growth, even if it seems to have really accelerated recently.

In any case, this sound is more subdued. Some might use the word "mature," though I think that's just code for "tired." And in any case, this music is anything but. The sound is more ruminative and expressive, but with the same intensity and artistic fire.

But is it better? I hate that question. This is not your dad's Northern Uproar (or, if you're me, this is not your Northern Uproar). It's more the Leon Meya Experience. But while that is something else again, it's still awfully good in its own right.

Jon Worley

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