4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Best of "Jem",
This review is from: It All Starts Here (Audio CD)
Welsh pop singer Jem burst onto the scene with her multi-faceted debut, "Fianally Woken." In the aptly named EP "It All Starts Here," Jem gave a taste to the world of what to expect -- catchy pop laced with trip-hop and folk, all from her debut.
Starting off the EP is the exotic, hip-hop-laced "They," followed by the sultry, sexy "Come On Closer." She shifts into a slower gear with the mellow, flowing "Finally Woken," before revving up with the pleasant but unexceptional "Just A Ride," and finally finishing with the gentle "Flying High."
If Dido joined Portishead and started playing folk, the sound that resulted might be a bit like Jem. While "It All Starts Here" has some of Jem's strongest songs, it feels a little constricted. Only "Flying High" could be considered a ballad; the others are almost insanely catchy pop. As a result, listeners don't get to experience everything she can do.
Jem's voice is sweet and sensuous, especially in the final track where it's unencumbered by electronica, and the sketchy lyrics even out to a pretty little ballad. Her music is a crazy quilt of trip-hop, strummy guitars, bells, and who knows what else. It takes what might have been run-of-the-mill pop and makes it feel fresh and new.
"It All Starts Here" displays some of the best of pop newcomer Jem, although it doesn't really show everything she can do. Pretty, fun, exotic and catchy.