And now the album my previous EP revu teased has dropped!
Janey Street’s “My Side of Paradise” [BER 1020 Blu Elan Records]
If you would talk to Janey Street, you would never know that she is a singer because she is just a natural, typically loquacious chick with a regular speaking voice that has a slight New York City treatment. What I think it allows for is a variety of pitch within this collection, which ranges from rock to funk along her blues street in paradise. The concept of this album measures today’s social mores.
The album begins like I thought it would with initial drummer rim shots.
We listen to a collection of very well written songs. I emphasize “well-written” lyrics and performed by Janey Street who has apparently paid enough blues dues to earn a shot to fulfill her dreams, proving that we must keep on keeping on (to borrow a title from the late, great Curtis Mayfield) because it is never too late as long as we have breath in our bodies and a strong pulse to actualize them. Many of these heartfelt songs will end up rambling through your mind as soothing tune wedgies, long after your first listen to the album.
What I love about the first two tracks, which are my favorites, is their Motown-esq funky band feel that even features one of my favorite instruments, the baritone saxophone which made so many hits of the 1960s and 1970s so ballsy and timeless! It kicks in about midway into “Among The Missing” and staples it until the end. They keep that horny horn into “Good Side” and even lead with the baritone which becomes integral from the outset and throughout! The next tune and ballad, “Bring it On”, brings in the orchestral strings and I think I heard a cello at one point! It is a bit strident at times as occasional vocal overreach stretches Janey’s vocal range. What I found curious is how she pronounced the word, “stubborn” during this song. It sounded more like “stubbren”. No phonics?
“House Of Mirrors” is a storytelling funhouse rocker that is reminiscent of many 1980s Top 40 hits. The next tune, “Situation” you already know how I feel about its succinct relevance from my prior writings. Events are oft not as hideous as we worry about them being at the end of the day.
I have another line for song number six, “Tears Taste the Same”, ‘they taste like whatever you been drinking, they taste like Beer…’ Nice, cold ending, by the way.
The advanced EP single, “I’m Not The Girl I Used To Know”, cut number seven, has actually grown on me since I reviewed it in June of this year. Maybe it is because of its context position midway through this album and because I can see how it speaks to some inner truth many people might feel even though I am the boy I used to know – and then some! The next rock’em socke’em “End” seems like a family feud of funk. I hear a wedding gone awry amongst rollikin organ notes, shouts and harmonica riffs.
“Grand Delusion” takes on the perceived illusion that the internet and social media creates in this, the future that is now, if you do not know how to use it correctly. “Rose-colored glasses made for the masses…” Her treatment makes this global technology dysfunction seem almost pleasing – but as good as it is for song, they are off the mark in-reality, which is a debate for another post.
“Radar” mellows it out like a Joni Mitchell song from the seventies. “Scat Like Ella” is the best possibility for a “tune wedgie” as it is catchy and will linger in your music mind for all times. It is a really good concept song that Ms. Street performs to the max and conveys the message succinctly. Again, the lyrics carry part of the day as she mentions so many of the giants of legendary Jazz music. I left it believing that she really does want to “scat like” Ella Fitzgerald after hearing her give us a sample. Now I think I want to scat like Cab Calloway!
At the “End of the Day” is a finale, mostly acapella and well-positioned wrap song for the album, which, maybe, with the exception of “I’m Not The Girl…”, tells a kind of revolutionary story about the times within we reside in toto. I like Blue`lan’s packaging of the CD, which includes a lyric booklet. My final question is how to get a ticket onto that train to Janey’s Side of Paradise – or is it an island? As a songstress/storyteller, Janey Streets consistently paints a beautiful word-picture throughout the effort that defies any one music genre catagorie, in my opinion. I bless it with Four out of a possible Five Guitars.
Please add your comments or revu of this music, khorosho? OK?