REVIEW: Mojo Juju - Native Tongue - 4 stars

HONEST: Mojo Juju isn't afraid to express her pain and anger on Native Tongue.

HONEST: Mojo Juju isn't afraid to express her pain and anger on Native Tongue.

MOJO Juju has always been an honest artist, but on her third album, Native Tongue, all her pain, anger and anxieties boil to the surface.

It fundamentally asks the question of, “who am I” and “where is my place” as an Indigenous woman with Filipino ancestry in modern Australia. But instead of merely posing the question, Juju demands an answer.

The former Newcastle artist cut her teeth with the gypsy-blues focused Snake Oil Merchants, but Native Tongue combines a vast array of influences. The title track broods with gospel and R’n’B, Shut Your Mouth chugs along with Black Keys-styled soul-rock, and History is a sweet pop ballad.

Mojo Juju - Native Tongue

Yet, it’s in the lyrics where Native Tongue bites the hardest. “I want to know my father’s name/Please don’t deprive me of my roots,” (I Just Wanna Know) and Shut Your Mouth roars against prejudice.

Mojo Juju is demanding your attention.