Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Review -- JEN LANE -- Self-titled

JEN LANE
Jen Lane
Independent
7-out-of-10
This has turned out to be a week of music from Saskatoon.
This time though I move away from country to settle in and listen to a style more in line with the likes of Sarah McLachlan -- interestingly the CD was mastered by Chris Potter who works with McLachlan too. For her part Jen Lane has a sweet, laid back vocal style which is pleasant to listen to.
From the lead in The Real Thing, a powerful song to kick-off the CD, through the 11-cut offering, Lane's voice is wonderfully mellow, creating a sound well-suited to relaxing on a hot summer's afternoon. I particularly like Angie, Long Time Coming, Hold On Strong, and Call On Me.
At times she stretches into sultry stylings too. You hear that on numbers such as Barely Above Me, a number where Lane really gets the listener swaying in time with the song.
While Lane's voice has a relaxing quality, there is another level to her music too, and that is the depth of her lyrics. Like many female performers of this genre and era, the greatest strength lies in the words. While you can relax here, you are soon drawn into Lane's world, listening to the stories the lyrics tell, with her guitar and other instrumentation on the album merely a background tone to the words.
As a writer Lane has a maturity with the pen which one wouldn't expect from someone barely past their teens.
Lane is a poet with a guitar, and a darn fine poet to boot. In many ways her music is in a folk style, simply amped up just enough to be pop, but not enough that the instrumentation takes away from her voice, or the story of the lyrics.
This is a gal who would be an absolute treat in a small, intimate coffee house setting. By the way how is it that a progressive city like Yorkton doesn't have a performance coffee house yet? Then we could stop in, listen to someone like Lane and avoid sitting in our cars in some line-up waiting for a cup of coffee in a paper cup. Ah but I digress. Lane though, is a voice that should have a chance to play locally here too. She is certainly a treat on CD.
Check her out at http://www.jenlane.com/
-CALVIN DANIELS

- Reviews first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper June 27, 2007 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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