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Music Review: Seedling – Jane

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This is a safe set of music, unlikely to offend anyone but with little to distinguish it from a horde of other releases by female vocalists. Jane sings well and her musical backing is professional and well arranged. There is a sense she has not yet decided who she wants to be as a singer. Her vocals range from the breathless wispiness of old recordings by Montreal's The Bells to the rock-tinged edge of Sheryl Crow, with a number of stops in between.

Jane quickly establishes her folk roots by starting "Never Thought it was Love" with a bit of countrified guitar and a whole lot of harp but quickly shifts to a more pop-music style for the remainder of the song. This song establishes more than that. Like the rest of the songs on this release, the first song is comfortable enough but the approach and sound is at best inconsistent.

If this were Jane's debut album and not her second, one might forgive the artist feeling her way a bit and trying out different roles as both songwriter and singer. One can only hope that, as her career grows, Jane will find and slip into an image that fits her comfortably. In the meantime, this release makes a respectable showing, presenting the singer in a positive light and giving the listener a comfortable experience.

This is a very eclectic set featuring a potpourri of blues, jazz, latin, county, folk, funk, and other stylings, both vocally and instrumentally. What holds it together is the consistent fullness of the sound and the clearly professional quality of the production.

Seedling features some excellent folk and blues harp as well as a smattering of very cool keyboard sounds by Mark Street. These help to raise the CD at least slightly above the bland middle-ground.

It will be interesting to watch this emerging artist as she moves through her career. Will she grow and develop the talent that is clearly present or will she continue to avoid risk and present the sort of safe material found on this CD? Time will tell.

Those who may be interested can find additional information about Jane at the Jane Music website. You can find clips of four songs by Jane at My Space.

Tomboy Music Group
10 tracks

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