CD REVIEW: Jane Eamon - Real
By Cyrus Rhodes - 02/01/2010 - 12:48 PM EST
Artist: Jane Eamon
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Acoustic folk/blues/jazz
Sounds Like: Joni Mitchell, Ann Murray, Mary Travers
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: I Can't Wait, Let it Go, Freinds
Weakness: Conservative production format causes catalogue to go down dry
Canadian (Kelowna, B.C.) guitarist, singer-songwriter duo Jane Eamon and Gordie Rush releases “Real” in 2008. This is Eamon's 4th release.
Logging in at just under 41 minutes "Real" kicks things off with “When Darkness Comes” a powerful intro piece complete with solitary acoustical guitar setting, and impressive vocal presence from Eamon. Track 2 “Looking for Glory” serves up yet another impressive track with flowing melody, and some impressive acoustic pedal steel accents. Track 3 “High Horse” is a bluesy type piece, with impressive harmonica, and vocal swagger reminiscent of Joni Mitchell, Anne Murray, and even Mary Travers (Peter, Paul, and Mary). The CD makes a solid first impression, it is gentle, inviting, and flows extremely well song for song. The music, lyrical content and subject matter is packed full of conventional wisdom - listeners should take notes, because these words are pure gold. The musical textures are simplistic, yet rich with things like pedal steel, harp, harmonica, mandolin, and fretless bass. This is an earthy, acoustic folk statement from start to finish. It is pure, soothing, and sung from a deeply honest perspective. What’s impressive is the amount of subject matter displayed on this CD. Some songs will lift your spirist like “Let it Go”, “Until Now”, and “Yellow Moon”. While others are offer deep thought provoking perspective like “When Darkness Comes”, and “Until Now” The defining moments for me are the sad but true statements - “I Can’t Wait”, “When Darkness Comes”, and “Freinds” this is where we see the true brilliance of Jane Eamon shine through. The musicianship of all the players involved is solid. Eamon’s vocal style works extremely well, as is unobtrusive, refuses to try to hard, and fills the musical space with peaceful tranquility. I also did not fail to notice a few impressive falsettos scattered here and there. Eamon holds her own in this bare bones musical setting quite well, like on tracks “When Darkness Comes”, “Friends”, and ”Missing You”. My favorite pieces on the CD is a toss up between Track 6 “Let it Go” and “Until Now” These amazing ballads let it all hang out emotionally served up with passionate vocals, amazing subject matter. The CD ends on a powerful note with Track 10: “Hero” a powerful, and bonus track “Soldiers Lament” track 11.
There are risks you take when delivering a bare bones musical production such as “Real.” In this striped down musical setting it’s a real challenge for even seasoned professionals like Eamon to hold your attention span effectively. Earthy type productions such as this create ample opportunities for those “pin drop moments” for both musicians and singers to really showcase what they’re capable of. When done right - will blow you right out of your chair, or take your breath away. More work is required to fill this empty space either by the performers, or the performances themselves. I can’t help but wonder what some of these songs would sound like with even more instrumentation layered within the music. Instruments such as violin, viola, cello, piano, banjo, washboard, whirly bells, celeste and even a saw would help add more musical variety to the catalog. Also because there are no drums, except for snare drum rolls on Track 10, various percussive elements are desperately needed to fill the rhythmic void. As a result the songs over 4 minutes in length will drag you to the finish line. As impressive as "Real" is, because of the aforementioned issues, the production goes down a bit dry song for song.
Its obvious listening to the music of Jane Eamon – she is one artists worthy of your full undivided attention, praise, and deep admiration. She's an artists that brings many things to the table - her acoustic guitar, her writing, her voice, her wisdom, her honestly, and her music that is 100% real. Overall this release from Jane Eamon is an extremely impressive statement. Its strong suit is her incredible writing, amazing voice, and rich subject matter, and lyrical content. Her conventional wisdom is simply priceless, and should be treated as such. When this CD is over you will be dazzled by her wisdom, touched by the messages, and mesmerized by her amazing vocal presence. My hats off to entire the production team which includes Producer David Essig, as “Real” is clearly an industry standard musical production. The cover of the CD says it all with Japanese Calligraphy “Storyteller.” Jane Eamon is an amazing storyteller who tells each tale with hope, passion, and pure honesty.
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