When I was a seventeen year old I was studying art, travelling to and from college, making new friends and fancying the pants off a girl called Vanessa who I sat next to in Art History, my mind wasn’t on anything other than the present, the very near future and paintings from centuries ago. I certainly wasn’t planning an assault on the music world, but this is where most seventeen year olds differ from Singapore-based Yajur.
Queen is the second album from the hard-working songwriter (following on from his debut ‘Freckles’) and it’s so current that at times it almost feels slightly ahead of the curve. Music trends come and go in a matter of weeks, as soon as the ‘next fresh sound’ hits the radio stations it gets copied and diluted so quickly that it feels that as soon as it arrives, it’s leaving. In a nutshell, if you like the music of Ed Sheeran and Shawn Mendes, you’ll enjoy what is on offer here. It’s introspective, nicely observed and very well written. Yajur plays the part of the Nice Guy having the hots for the popular girl at school but remaining in the shadows, words written in the back of his work book, locked away in his locker and then revealed to the world through his cleverly produced music.
At times it can feel rushed, possibly unfinished but that lack of sheen adds to the charm and allows the music to feel personal and unedited.
The albums sits nicely in the rock/pop genre and begins with title track ‘Queen’ which is a strong opener giving an idea of what to expect throughout the album, namely traditionally structured songs that should find a home on lots of radio stations.
Second track ‘Sweet Cherry’ owes much to the music of the aforementioned Ed Sheeran, from it’s muted guitar percussion to the catchy chorus, but again this is the type of music radio stations lap up, it’s well produced and inoffensive. There are changes of mood here and there, from the skiffle beat of ‘Cold Brew Coffee’ to ballad ‘Just Friends’ showing Yajur has enough scope in his talents to draw emotion from his songs.
Is Yajur the finished article when it comes to being an artist? No, but there is more than enough evidence to point to him being someone to watch in the future, his songs are mature far beyond his age and it’s clear he has something to say.