Aneka

Aneka

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    6
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Jolly, sometimes giddy, dance-rock hybrids characterize the core of Scottish folksinger Mary Sanderson's debut as a European pop princess. The most enjoyable cuts here are those that stick to the fun approach of her major hit, "Japanese Boy," which is a unique fusion of new wave guitars and synths and disco rhythms. Aneka's vocal buoyancy and durability make the novel aspects of many tunes more believable than they'd be in an average studio singer's hands. Traditional Asian influences are in place to back the singer's plea for her absent lover to return home on "Japanese Boy." Meanwhile, the nostalgic "Ooh Shooby Doo Doo Lang" is a first-person narrative of a naïve, ever-hopeful pop singer running through her vocal qualifications and list of celebrity encounters and "Ahriman" utilizes Middle Eastern flourishes to complement the story of yet another fleeting man -- this time alluded to by way of the ancient Zoroastrian character. Of the three ballads included, the gentle "Tu-Whit Tu-Whoo" is the most impressive, with "Put out the Light" and "Be My Only Karma" suffering from stiff melodies and overall redundancy. Aneka may not possess the power of Donna Summer or Gloria Gaynor, but the sensitive ring and soulful restrain in her voice warrant her as more than a trendy member of the disco bandwagon.