Tuesday, August 7, 2012

CD Review: Jenn Summers' 'When Life Gives You Lemons'

Jenn Summers
When Life Gives You Lemons

New York-born Jenn Summers is the next big thing to hit the airwaves with pop-driven compositions that contain a little R&B, ukulele, and roots music. Jenn's vocal calisthenics are reminiscent of Michelle Branch and Colbie Caillat. "Blue Velveteen" begins the musical set-up with sparkling vocals, pop-driven guitars, and catchy melodies that can only come from a genius like Jenn. "Get Better" contains lively, almost soukous-driven guitars that are not African in origin, but American-inspired roots elements combine with a little folk and island flavor. "When Life Gives You Lemons, Make L.O.V.E." adds some ukulele and handclaps to the mix with Jenn's soulful voice that harkens the playfulness of American pop songs from the 50s or 60s. "This Side Of Free" and "Wake Me Up" are roots-driven, pop concoctions that possess a flavor that is more rock-influenced than folk. Yet, Jenn's harmonic vocal lines and drum-kit percussion lead the way with melodic structures and youthful exuberance in a somewhat Trish Murphy-esque way. "Don't Mind Me" is a classic throwback to the woodblock, piano, and rippling guitars of American pop standards from the 50s or 60s. Morever, the vocal "oohs" and "doos" solidify the classic musical vein. Overall, Jenn's new work is not only top-notch, but it rivals the power-pop impact of Michelle Branch's The Spirit Room (Maverick, 2001). When Life Gives You Lemons is the best new album to come out this year. It's not sour, but you may shed tears of joy. At any rate, you will not be disappointed. ~ Matthew Forss 

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