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Barb Jungr - Just Like a Woman (hymn to Nina) - The Independent


07 March 2008
The Independent
Andy Gill
4 Stars

Having established her reputation through unusual interpretations of songwriters such as Jacques Brel and Bob Dylan, the vocal stylist Barb Jungr turns her attention to Nina Simone.

Ticking clock and groaning bass lend an air of lovelorn fatalism to the splendid "Lilac Wine", and a grimly descending chord structure imposes a similarly bereft tone to her despairing "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood"; but the most startling pieces here are the medleys in which Jungr infuses contemporary material with the darkling mystery of traditional folksong, most notably the alliance of "One Morning in May" with the old Steppenwolf drug song "The Pusher".

Apart from a "Ballad of Hollis Brown", Jungr's Dylan interpretations are less convincing than might be expected, particularly the odd, jaunty "Times They Are A-Changin'", but the uptempo blues arrangement of "Feeling Good" that closes the album is a vivid display of her subject's balance of control and abandonment.


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