Reviews

Following its release, ‘Hard Rain’ consistently received rave reviews in the UK national press, radio, and online (for abroad see International Reviews).

It made the top 20 of the Official BBC Independent Album Charts, and was supported by a sell-out UK tour – that also received rave reviews! (see Live.) ..

 Screen shot 2014-06-28 at 14.10.48  Album of the Week ****

‘A masterclass in the value of interpretive liberty, with songs transformed in almost revelatory manner…The undulating piano of ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’ helps lubricate her tone of determination and the languid treatment of ‘First We Take Manhattan’ replaces the military manner of Cohen’s original with a dreamer’s fantasy. As with the album generally, it’s a subtle balance of hot and cold, a work of fiery cool.’

sunday-times

‘Once again, the British singer finds new paths through what, at first glance, might seem familiar material. ‘1000 Kisses Deep‘ is simply heart-stopping. Jungr’s attention to timbre and nuance brings new depth to every syllable’.

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daily-mirror-masthead ****

‘Jungr proved one of the greatest interpreters of Bob Dylan songs with two previous cover albums from his awesome songbook. This time, two towering masters of Jewish American song provide the raw material for Barb’s rich voice and finely details jazzy arrangements. A notable achievement’.

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radio 2 2

‘Barb Jungr confirms her reputation with a selection of Bob’s political and spiritual narratives of his contemporary Leonard Cohen. Jungr hears with Bob with a different ear and consequently brings a different and completely alluring voice to ‘Blowing in the Wind’ and ‘Masters of War’, so to Cohen’s ‘Who by Fire’ and ‘1000 Kisses Deep’. It’s quite some accomplishment to throw new light on these old tableau’. (David Burke.)

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Screen shot 2014-06-28 at 14.10.48  5 stars *****

‘With reverent respect to Cole Porter, this music is the North American Songbook’s climax, revealed by its greatest interpreter.’ (Nick Hasted.)
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Screen shot 2014-06-28 at 15.02.49

‘As an interpreter, Jungr’s ace in the hole is an ability to personalise even age-old familiars like ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’ without resorting to deconstruct mode. ‘First We Take Manhattan’ is beautifully reworked, with Jungr draping a delicate vocal line over Simon Wallace’s piano back-drop of a kind that Gil Evans might have visualised for Miles. (Fred Dellar.)

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Screen shot 2014-06-28 at 15.34.16 4 stars  ****

‘Investing everything she sings with telling insight, Jungr’s complete affinity with the material lends the collection a galvanising power.’

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the times  4 stars  **** 

‘Enthralling…Literate…Jungr is the perfect interpreter of this kind of material.’ (Clive Davis.)

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Screen shot 2014-06-28 at 15.43.248/10

‘The commanding and rhapsodic singing brings connection and insight while superlative arrangements – majoring in opulent blues jazz noir settings, refresh songs as daunting as ‘It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)’ and ‘First We Take Manhattan‘. To give such standards precious new life is quite an achievement.’ (Gavin Marton.)

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Screen shot 2014-06-28 at 15.50.15

‘Barb Jungr has the ability to take a well-known song and make it her own… She imbues ‘Hard Rain’ with a bitterness that Dylan only hints at and takes the torrent of words that is ‘It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)’ and, by enunciating each one clearly, makes perfect sense of the song. This is knockout album.’ (Dai Jeffries)

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Screen shot 2014-06-28 at 15.52.01

‘Jungr demonstrates her talent for conveying the stories and emotions of the songs, in a relaxed manner that makes it all sound as easy and natural as breathing—an enviable talent…. her loose, easy version of ‘Chimes of Freedom‘ —made famous as a hit by The Byrds—emphasises that Jungr rivals the group as one of the best…the revelation of ‘Hard Rain’  is that her versions of the Cohen songs all but steal the album. More!’ (John Eyles.)

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Screen shot 2014-06-28 at 15.53.31  

‘Barb Jungr is known for being one of the best female performers of Bob Dylan material and is a wonderful singer with great tone and smooth jazzy voice …. Masters Of War being a particular haunting melody and very gritty interpretation and sneering vocals but set to a slow seductive style, an ongoing feel to this release. Ably assisted by Simon Wallace on piano who also produced this collaboration and with a consummate backing band, this all adds to a hypnotic lilt and a wholly unforgettable release. Brilliant.’

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something else!

‘Barb Jungr has a powerful tool in the box — and that is her voice. Combine this with the powerful songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, and a group of good musicians, and you have something which has the potential to blow your mind. So, Barb sets high expectations and this album does not disappoint.  Hard Rain is a great album, one in which to immerse yourself until you are soaked through’.

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blog critics

‘Fine as her Dylan interpretations are, they pale in comparison with what she does with the Cohen songs – her readings bring to mind singers like Nina Simone or even Edith Piaf.  It is this kind of identification with the intrinsic mystical power she finds in the music that accounts for the brilliance of her performance. ‘Hard Rain’ is a gem. Jungr takes the music of Dylan and Cohen and makes it glow.

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culture northern ireland

‘Jungr really is is an exceptional interpreter of popular songs, with a dramatic, sometimes theatrical style and a remarkable technique. Her interpretive skills are thrilling’.

Screen shot 2014-06-28 at 16.51.58

‘She has earned her place at the top table of influential singers, and it is bewildering that an appearance on the only popular music programme on British terrestrial television continues to elude her. If ‘Hard Rain’ doesn’t earn her a place in the line-up for the current series of Later…  With Jools Holland, someone is missing a vital link.’

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ken franklyn's jazz notes

‘At a time when far too many jazz singers seem addicted to the most tired tunes in the Great American Songbook, London-based Barb Jungr has settled on a very different range of material. She is in love with the often-political works of musical bards Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. Hard Rain: The Songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen is a gem. This is excellent’.

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Peterborough Telegraph  9/10

‘Widely regarded as one of the finest interpreters of other people’s songs, Jungr’s new album features six Dylan and five Leonard Cohen tracks. It is a mesmerising tour de force focusing on some of the most political songs written by the two legends’.
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O's place jazz newsletter

‘Barb Jungr is a polished contemporary vocalist with poise, emotion and a dynamic approach. She celebrates the songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen on Hard Rain. We enjoyed ‘First We Take Manhattan’, ‘Masters of War’ and ‘Gotta Serve Somebody’ best in a sea of great songs. Jungr does a fine job recreating the magic of these classics’.

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Screen shot 2014-06-28 at 17.06.41

‘I guarantee that once you step out of your reverie as the CD ends, you’ll be hunting for more. Hard Rain doesn’t just satisfy the senses and brainworks, it also installs a hunger’.  (Mark S Tucker.)

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audiophile audition  ****

‘Barb Jungr is a lounge goddess!  Her latest release, Hard Rain: The Songs of Bob Dylan & Leonard Cohen snatches the political, rebel-rousing, love destruction and carefully worded tracks that made Dylan and Cohen household names world wide. The entire album is a highlight, but to point out a few delicious tracks: ‘Who By Fire,’ ‘Hard Rain’ and ‘Chimes of Freedom’ are my top picks.. Tell me, where have you been, my darling young one?

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