Shura forevher (Secretly Canadian) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Secretly Canadian

Aug 20, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Sometimes an album is so much more than its music. It represents something that extends further that what we hear. Forevher, the second album from English synth-pop artist Shura, is one of those releases. Despite expanding her bedroom electro-pop into something bigger and wider in musical scope, the songs reflect a standard take on ‘80s-inspired, polished pop.

Shura’s voice is great, the production smooth, and the songwriting solid, but this is, in essence, just another pop record. That is until you consider the concepts fuelling it. Forevher is intertwined with Shura’s identity as an “out lesbian” and frames its simple love songs in a queer context, interjecting its narrative of queer love in the way LGBTQ+ people have had to inject their narratives into heterosexual love-songs for decades.

Forevher is a stealthy but effective challenge to established perceptions of love, presented with glistening pop production influenced by Prince, early Madonna, and Fleetwood Mac. Shura is pushing non-mainstream ideas through music made for the radio and the casual listener, in a welcome attempt to normalize her own identity in society’s conversation on “love.”

This is what makes forevher a brilliant work, in much the same way Self Esteem’s superb Compliments Please album addressed female worth and their place in the music industry earlier in the year. This is further illustrated in the album’s accompanying visual identity. The video for “BKLYNLDN” (the tune with its trap beats, glitches, and synth squelches stands out from the pack) shows glimpses of same-sex intimacy, while “religion (u can lay your hands on me)” shows nuns in love, even sexually, without any of the tackiness this might suggest, to a sweet, downbeat disco slow jam. Shura treats all of this as normal, as it always should have been.

Shura has made a perfectly good pop record, but in her unashamed, subtle and normalizing presentation of queer love in the form of mainstream music has, actually, produced something conceptually revolutionary. Not in the music itself, but that might just be the point! (

Author rating: 6.5/10

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Average reader rating: 1/10


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Joel Max
August 20th 2019

The body of the review seems completely at odds with the rating.