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Amy Jane


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Alternative pop seems best single way to describe this, among the keywords given

Status:

Most recent release, Wide Open (2001)

See also:

Doesn't currently seem to have a website (01/09)

Comparisons:

Happy Rhodes, Liz Phair, possibly Tori Amos

Covers/own material:

Mostly songs by her producer/guitar & piano-player, some own.

General comments:

See album comments below.

Recommended first album:

Wide Open is her debut

Recordings:

Wide Open (2001)

Wide Open

Release info:

2001—Pinnacle Records—SJ3013

Availability:

See website

Ecto priority:

I would say moderately high. I don't consider it ectophilic by a strict construction of the term, but I don't place much weight on that since it's so well worth listening to in its own right. (mapravat@prairienet.org)

Group members:

Amy Jane—vocals

Guest artists:

Rich Marcello—guitar, piano
Tim Johnson—bass
Dave Freund—drums

Produced by:

Rich Marcello and Amy Jane

Comments:

Below the headliner level, the music business is rich in journeyman singer-songwriters whose creativity and originality have not yet fallen victim to either the process of commercialization, or being ignored thereby. You have to stay alert to discover these artists, but it pays off. Amy Jane's album is an example of why.
     Among the 16 tracks—an unusually high number for one album—there are a couple of recurrent themes. One of these is friends working through problems together—for some reason it makes me think of the friendship between Timothy Hutton and Elizabeth McGovern in the movie Ordinary People. (Her hopeful tone in these songs makes me think of Tori Amos's "Me and a Gun" as a point of contrast.) The other is relationships with problems, that sometimes fail. That sort of subject matter can lead to songs that are either schmaltzy or heavy-handed, but Jane avoids both of those traps. It would be interesting to know the extent to which her actual personal history has been characterized by the kinds of problems she writes about; in using them as a springboard for her songwriting she has something in common with Happy Rhodes, but both her musical style and her well-crafted lyrics are less exotic, and therefore more accessible to many listeners, than Happy's. The production values for the album—not overproduced, but not altogether unplugged either, probably done in a small studio—seem reminiscent to me of Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville album. What Jane really excels at is lining up multiple variations on one or the other of her main themes (though there are a couple of tracks—among the best on the album—that deal with neither), without it ever getting monotonous to listen to. I find Jane's realistic view of life and love an unusually fresh approach; here's hoping for more in the future. (mapravat@prairienet.org)


Thanks to Mitch Pravatiner for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2009-01-16 21:18:05.
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