Seven years between major studio based releases might be some kind of record somewhere but the wait has been worthwhile. Karnataka are back with a new line-up, a new album and possibly a slightly changed sound from that of their 2004 release. There’s one thing that hasn’t changed: the music is just as entertaining, fulfilling and  classy.

I lied, there’s one other thing that hasn’t changed: Ian Jones is still there, the only original member of the group that showed so much promise before circumstances saw it disappeared over the horizon. Now, with Lisa Fury on vocals, Enrico pinna on guitars, Gonzalo Carrera on keys and Ian Harris on drums, Karnataka are back with a cracking album which sits very well with previous releases and shows that a degree of progression is also the name of the game with this genre of music. It’s a gentle opening with two relatively short instrumental songs before the band gets fully wound up and breaks in with Your World.

The big thing that most people are going to wonder is if Lisa Fury can cut the mustard in leading the line on vocals. Consider the mustard well and truly sliced to bits. Her vocal style is all her own and fits in very well with the music throughout the album. Maybe it’s not as flowery as her predecesso=rs but the range required to bring the songs to life is achieved with consummate ease. The guitars, drum work, bass and keys are first class as you’d expect. The engineering, production and mixing again get top marks.

With stunning artwork from light graffiti artist Michael Bosanko, this is the complete package. Musically, it’s got hooks in the guitar work, choruses that will stick in your mind and have you humming them at your desk. This is  are;lease that I recommend you seek out and enjoy 9/10 – Allan Bannerman