Sunday, September 15, 2013

Review: Jody Quine - Seven

The pop music scene is littered with more than its fair share of pop tartlets these days. From the aging attempts of artists like Britney Spears to the antics of a twerking Miley Cyrus, music seems to have become secondary to being an artist. That’s not to say that some of these young ladies can’t sing but, as further advances in technology like Auto Tune and the like continue to press their way into the mainstream, it’s making having real, well-honed talent a secondary consideration.

Yet, for all of the fluffy pop out in the world, there are still intelligent, talented women making great music. Following along in those footsteps and making a name for herself is rising artist, Jody Quine. Quine first discovered her love for music at an open mic night when, closing her eyes and letting loose her voice, she silenced the room in awe. She honed that talent and has performed as part of Balligomingo, serving as lead singer and songwriter for the band, as well as with Sleepthief. Along the way, she’s had her music featured on television shows such as “Queer as Folk” and “Dead Like Me,” among others.
Now, Quine’s stepping out on her own, letting her heart speak for itself.

“I used to date boys for song fodder,” Quine jokes, “but since I met my husband I’ve been happy and lacking material to write about!”
And while Quine may joke, on Seven she shows that she still has plenty to say.

“You Are” opens the record up with a soulful, organic acoustic arrangement that easily draws reminders of Sarah McLachlan. Quine’s voice is clear and resonant and the gentle arrangement frames her voice wonderfully, letting her lyrics of love hold center stage. The artist brings more energy to “Tonight,” poignant piano setting the stage against a set of electronic influences that press the track into a mid-tempo pop flow while “To Be Frank” reins things back in, threatening to break out with some electronica-tinged fills but never quite going all the way there.
Quine aims for some radio play with the keyboard driven “Piece of My Heart,” her voice rich, resonant, as the arrangement colors itself with guitar and perky percussion and the lyrics speak of lasting love and remembrance. She returns to an acoustic template with the simply titled, “I Love You,” and continues to shine vocally, singing both her own lead and backing vocals and harmonizing magically while an ethereal keyboard swell lends an emotive note.

“Finch Diving” lets some strings set the tone before a pop-tinged R&B vibe drops, recalling recent work by Ellie Goulding. The composition is tight and performed with ease by Quine and is easily on of the best tracks on the record. Quine closes out the record with “Come Back Home,” letting her voice do most of the talking, supported by some orchestral strings and a solo piano that present something of an epic feel to the song as Quine showcases her power and range to full effect.
Jody Quine is the real deal, not only possessing a voice that any artist would love to have, let alone listen to but also a keen mind for songwriting and composition, crafting intelligent and hooky songs here on her solo debut, Seven. That’s no small feat but it’s one that Quine does time and time again here. If she can keep up that streak, she’s bound to go far.

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