I’m not sure where Unapologetically Me, the latest single from Julianne, fits into the general scheme of things – mature pop, sophisticated R&B, contemporary world music, intelligent dance tune – not that it matters. It is just that we journos tend to muse on such things.
Where ever it slots in and whatever generic label you choose to give it, it is an excellent sonic experience. Rising out of laid-back, chilled dance depths, it gradually wraps plenty of great tones and textures around itself – pulsing bass lines, delicate piano riffs and straightforward beats, Latin percussion, and understated guitar ricochets and oriental vibes. Then when everything it needs is gathered in one place, Julianne rides the song to its logical and lovely conclusion.
Pop music, if indeed this is simply pop music, isn’t known for raising musical benchmarks, certainly not in the modern era, but Unapologetically Me does just that. Not only a great song but also a reminder of what pop music can be if it tries harder, perhaps a glimpse of what it might be again. We can only hope.