CD REVIEW: Jenn Lindsay, "Gotta Lotta"
By David Lockeretz - 01/02/2003 - 12:12 AM EST
Artist: Jenn Lindsay
Album: "Gotta Lotta"
With touches of Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Woodie Guthrie, Shel Silverstein and more, "Gotta Lotta" proves that Jenn Lindsay is that rare musician who can show that they have absorbed the influence of the past while creating something fresh and original.
Jenn Lindsay's strength is in her ability to observe and articulate. She sings about the ups and downs of every day life. While her songs have a definite New York feel to them, beneath the cynicism, irony and dark humor there is a certain melancholy. She is not just singing about moving from San Diego to New York; she is singing about leaving things behind and moving forward.
Jenn Lindsay can complain with the best of them. The feministic rhetoric of "Olly Olly Oxen Free" addresses gender relations with humor and insight, showing that seemingly casual remarks can have more effect than one might think. In "I Am Not Going Home Yet" she provides a laundry list of the hardships of urban life in modern times, from high rents to idiot bosses, but ultimately concludes, "It takes pain to get something good...you really gotta want it if you want anything good." And that is what truly sets this CD apart: For all the criticisms Lindsay might have, she realizes that ultimately it's up to the individual to make their own life work.
Musically, the CD is strong as well; Lindsay has a unique sounding voice which is recorded to sound very close to the listener, almost as if she is in the same room. Her grasp of harmony is strong, and the words and melodies fit well.
I think the next step for Lindsay is to hook up with top-level musicians, the way Joni Mitchell did, and to tighten the structure of some of her songs. For example, even though I enjoyed "I Am Not Going Home Yet" in some ways it felt like two or more songs, with all of the ideas being expressed. Compositionally, some of the longer songs get a little repetitive. These are minor points; I see Lindsay as an up and coming artist who will only get better. I sincerely hope that some record company picks her up, because you can learn more from listening to this CD than in one year of attending almost any public school in the country.
For more information about Jenn Lindsay, visit www.jennlindsay.com.
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