Album Review: Jeanicelee – Urban Legends

Edinburgh band Jeanicelee, fronted by the very talented Jeanice Lee, have released their second album Urban Legends, a follow up to their excellent 2019 debut album Beyond Never. The album was produced by Ramage Productions and features some fabulous artwork by Joan Llopis Doménech Illustrations. This release is certainly more grown up than the debut, no doubt due to all the gigging since that one came out and the prolonged work on it due to COVID etc. It is definitely a more mature offering than its younger sibling, featuring a blend of metal, progressive and symphonic rock.

Up first we have “Overhaul” with its guitar laden intro followed by the operatic vocals from Jeanice. You get carried along on the soaring guitars mixed with the backbeat of some terrific drumming from Tony, ably assisted in the rhythm section by Leen on bass. This is a stunning opening salvo.

“Back in Our Cage” opens again with the guitars and drums to the front, before the vocals kick in and carry you away with the way they are delivered with such passion. This is symphonic rock at its best. I can see an opening slot supporting the likes of Within Temptation with this kind of quality music.

“From the Ashes” features a harder edged opening with some excellent crunching guitars and the vocals have a more classic rock edge to them while still keeping that progressive edge. The guitars keep a heavy pace with the drums and bass, and Jeanice’s voice has an amazing sound as it rises and falls. We are also treated to some fabulous guitar solo work from the extremely talented Marco.

“Liquid Gold” is a big bold slice of rock which will have the crowd headbanging in time to it I have no doubt. There is definitely a grown up guitar feel on this album, time well spent on making this album and with the Ramage production on this album making it sound so full and vibrant.

“Never Was” opens with a slower UFO-style guitar solo before the lilting sound of the vocals comes in to match the slow pace of the guitar. This is a heart-rending ballad and would not be out of place as a soundtrack piece on a major film. It has that kind of passionate vibe, possibly my favourite off the album. The ending guitar solo and music complete with the background vocals just gives me goosebumps.

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“Divine Red Roses” begins with the guitars chugging away giving a much darker tone, along with slower heavier vocals and the deep backing vocals making this the heaviest track on the album but no less excellent for it. We are again treated to some impressive fretwork towards the end of the track and it builds up to a vocal crescendo of an ending.

The start of “Walk Away From Me” is not unremanisant of “Faster” by Within Temptation, with the fast tempo reigned in a touch and the vocals again just carrying us along as the guitars and rhythm section keep pace. Marco’s playing on the album is simply wonderful along with Jeanice’s rhythm guitar and vocals. The rhythm section of Leen and Tony on this track is just heavy enough, but light enough at the same time as to not overpower everything.

“The City We Used To Know” opens with a melancholy piece of guitar work before the vocals come in with a similar brooding dark sadness, along with some perfect backing vocals that just carry you along. There is some fabulous pounding bass mixed in along with guitar mystro Marco doing his thing. The song has a dark ebing flow smoothly emphasised Tony on the drums. A fabulous slow, dark ending to a superb album.

This is the album that could really open up the big doors for the band. Soaring vocals, technical guitar work and one of the best rhythm sections I’ve heard for a while along with a full bodied production that really lets the band shine. The album is out now. Get yourself a copy, turn the lights out, stick the headphones on and drown in the symphonic rock masterpiece that is Urban Legends.

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Urban Legends is out now

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