Label: Pierced Records 2011
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom
Blimey, it reads Jerusalem, but surely that's a harlot on the frontcover??? Now, now, people, calm down and hold your horses, just because SHE's laying half-naked in bed with too much make-up and too many tattoos, doesn't mean that SHE can't actually be a sunday school teacher, right, right??? Never judge a woman by a dodgy rock band's cover even if we're talking about the pioneers in Swedish Christian rock, the evangelical ones of Jerusalem. And just for the record, in case anyone didn't get the harlot joke! It's indeed nothing more than a joke. But let's have a show of hands, raise them now if you believe that plenty of christians (and other folks for that matter) will spit out exactly those words about "SHE".
It's been a while since their latest studio album (1994's Prophet, I believe?) and it's always nice to watch yet another rock reunion, no? They've been on/off as a band ever since the mid-nineties, performing live every now at the occasional gig. Vocalist/guitarist and overall bandleader Ulf Christiansson's been living in the states and thus why you haven't witnessed a full-blown reunion in the past? "She" pretty much takes off where "Prophet" left us hanging in U2 land. Bono and the Edge are no doubt Ulf's biggest inspiration of the past 30 years, but you'll also find the odd 'The Who' riff on this platter. Have a listen at opening track, "Calling On", and tell me that's not The Who in disguise.
Jerusalem are at their best when they simplify things such as on "Save My Life" or the lovely semi-ballad and also titletrack of the album, "She". I have this weird connection with the band, they were my very first rock concert experience as a young kid in the late eighties. And believe me, they've always been far heavier live than on record. The choruses aren't deadly catchy (much like many of U2's early songs) and it's not always the most original album. I still can't help to enjoy most of the tracks as it's a overall a decent mixture of Jerusalem, U2, The Who. Final verdict: Solid but hardly groundbreaking but Ulf's gritty/warm voice is strangely calming somehow...