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Finally Woken Import
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I read a review that said this music is "trip-pop," and while I hate stereotypical categories, I am going to have to agree. I am also going to say that Jem will not be able to avoid comparisons to Dido. These two do sound quite similar, athough I find Jem much more palatable for my electronica/alternative tastes.
Jem's voice is so smooth, even ethereal at times, that she could easily be fronting the helm of trip-hop acts like Morcheeba or Massive Attack. The music itself, including the lyrics, is very uptempo and poppy, and I could easily see her being the next big pop star if this had been produced by the Matrix or whoever crappy pop producer is hot these days. There are electronic blips throughout. The beat often has a real hip-hop vibe to it.
"Come On Closer" has a dark string sample and heavy bassline to accompany a backbeat that I've heard in a Cypress Hill song, before the grimy guitar jars in on the chorus. "They," the first single, features a somewhat eerie choral sample throughout the track, providing an interesting backdrop when the drum machine shuffles a quickening beat. "Save Me" uses a reggae-esque guitar and beat over Jem's wailing vocals and beautiful harmonies. These three songs are the ones that stuck with me after only two listens.
I urge you to give Jem a chance if you are a fan of interesting new music. This CD sounds like one that will be good for pumping this Summer.
Back in the ninties when artists such as Enya and Yanni offered calming approaches that are nowhere near classical music, they all got crammed into the now-fizzled out category New Age, for the lack of a category one was made to accomodate the 'others.' However, after the gushing of many such artists from Air to Tori Amos, music fans started to notice that this upheaval of new sounds is only the byproduct of the rebeliousness that is rock and pop.
Jem, an up-and-coming modern pop artist, has delivered an EP earlier titled It All Starts Here that showcased far less than what her complete effort, Finally Woken, does. This debut from the Welsh artist, is of no category but borrows heavily from popular genres. A tribute to folk on the lullaby "Flying High" and trip-hop on "Come On Closer." Jem also plays with urban beats with "They" and the reggae-tinted "Save Me."
The fusion of genres is so unique that one song, "24," starts out borrowing from Ani DiFranco strummings then meandering into heavy theatrical instrumentation and then, all of a sudden, right before the chorus sharp guitars bring in edgy rock. All without sounding a tad bit overboard.
Of course Jem's voice plays a big part by delivering an angelic yet quiet tone to the whole album without sounding unexcitingly bland like Dido's. Instead the meloncholy is delivered with consistancy on "Missing You" and "Falling For You," while the giddy is given a kindergarten innocence on the highlight track "Wish I.Read more ›
Normally getting a cd based on hearing one song that i liked only to find out the rest of the cd sounds nothing like the song that got me to buy it would irritate the hell out of me.
In this case, I am pleasantly surprised. Kind of hard to describe the sound, but it's damn good. Very eclectic. Kind of reminds me of Portishead without the crushing darkness.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I know I maybe shouldn't but I love this disc. It's a pretty fun listen and well-recorded.Published 3 months ago by Kodakwhore
Love this album, been listening to it on Pandora for months, and still wanted to buy it.Published 10 months ago by Matt Borden
Great music with a story line. and I can understand the words. That's always a plus.Published 16 months ago by D. Jacobs
I loved this cd, its so relaxing and calm. Sort of reminds me of ENYA but with a pop backgroundPublished on January 5, 2014 by Sarah
Jem is one of those bands you hear out of the blue, & suddenly you remember how much you love them. With hits like '24' & 'They', they're still one of the most under-rated bands of... Read morePublished on December 3, 2013 by Scarlet