The Best Songs in Dallas Music, 2009: Air Review's "Jura" Harmonizes Its Way To No. 21

[Editor's Note: Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be presenting my favorite local songs of the year, counting down from No. 25 to No. 1, one track a day. Today, we take an in-depth look at song No. 21 on the list--and click after the jump for a free download of the track. Lastly, keep checking back to see how the list pans out, and, also after the jump, check out songs No. 40-26 in the Top 40 list that will update as it grows...]

No. 22: Air Review -- "Jura"

On its summer-released debut Landmarks, Air Review established itself as a force to be reckoned with in the local rock set; moody, dramatic and intricately arranged, the self-produced, self-released disc, rightfully turned heads. So, too, did this: In its live debut at Curtain Club the band, while opening for another local rock favorite in Radiant, wowed the packed house with its well-prepared, high-energy show.

But, impressive as the band's stage and recording debuts were, perhaps more impressive is the album's final cut--a song the band has yet to perform in a full-on live setting (our own DC9 Live at El Sibil excluded).

Bonus mp3:

Air Review -- "Jura"

Air Review -- "Jura"

Boasting a truly heartbreaking restraint, "Jura" puts Air Review's sheer musicianship front and center, no longer hiding it behind the band's otherwise impressive rock song-writing capabilities. And oh-how-impressive that musicianship is--just listen to those descending vocal harmonies, as inspired an adornment as heard on a song from any other band in the region in 2009.

Beyond even that, though, "Jura" also stands as a testament to frontman Doug Hale's vocal abilities. Unlike other songs, where Hale sings over a cacophonous background of catchy riffs and chord progressions, he's forced here to carry the load on a song that constantly implies an impending crescendo that it brilliantly never reaches.

In the months following Landmarks' release, the band's found itself touring as an opener for Temple-based Flyleaf and performing shows at bigger venues like Trees and the Granada. And, from what we've been hearing, it's also been earning some interest from a major label or two. Other songs on "Landmark" may better show the band's capabilities on those fronts, but "Jura" displays an artistic integrity that, in the long run, may prove more valuable.

The Top 40 Local Songs of 2009 (Links to music videos and free song downloads available where applicable; links to streams where neither a download nor video exists.)
40. The Wax Museums -- "Safety in Numbers"
39. Macon Greyson -- "Pushing Strings"
38. The Burning Hotels -- "Austin's Birthday" (video)
37. The Riverboat Gamblers -- "DissDissDissKissKissKiss" (video)
36. Salim Nourallah -- "Endless Dream Days"
35. The Phuss -- "Preacher, Preacher"
34. The Southern Sea -- "These Things Always End Badly"
33. Fungi Girls -- "Pacifica Nostalgia"
32. Giggle Party -- "Jason Bought a Hatchet" (video)
31. Carter Albrecht -- "Country Living" (stream)
30. This Old House -- "At Risk"
29. Occult Detective Club -- "You'll Follow Me" 
28. Bad Sports -- "Nothing But Agitation"
27. Darktown Strutters -- "Quakertown"
26. The Crash That Took Me -- "Patricia Lynn" (stream)
25. Red Monroe -- "Pat Mayse Lake"
24. Danny Balis -- "Tethered"
23. Sleep Whale -- "Cotton Curls"
22. PVC Street Gang -- "Cutlass" (video)
21. Air Review -- "Jura"
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...and be sure to keep checking back, as this list will update daily