Sometimes it all comes down to the voice, and so it is with Jessie Sparks. The Australian-born singer/songwriter/pianist has one of those voices that is a gift. She can be soulful, bluesy, folksy, and she can rock hard when the occasion calls for it.
She has now returned with a five-song, self-titled EP, which is a follow-up to her 2007 album, Breathe Easy. It is an eclectic affair that travels in a number of musical directions and thus provides a nice sampling of her various talents.
The most interesting track is “Calendar Years,” which is a funky piece with a soulful vocal. Joining her on this one are Willie and Joe Chambers of the legendary band, The Chambers Brothers (“Time Has Come Today”). Also backed by drummer Matthew Oloffson and a bassist simply named Warlock, Sparks’ voice soars above the smooth rhythms.
“More Suitable Type” offers a nice introduction to her style and singing, the song building while her perfect tone quality rises along with it. “Feel The Love” is a rock-driven, mid-tempo tune that was mixed by Grammy-winning producers Klubjumpers, who are known for their dance remixes for artists such as Britney Spears, Madonna, and Lil Wayne. Despite the upbeat nature of the music, the lyrics deal with the power of the mind to overcome the tragedies of life.
With the power ballad “Untouchable” Sparks declares her free-spirited lifestyle while, on the jazzy “Bow Down,” she invites the listener to accept her as she is.
Jesse Sparks is touring in support of her new release. If her voice is as powerful and clear in person as it is in the studio then she is on track to become a singer of note. Hopefully this new EP will give her some well-deserved attention.