Monday, November 2, 2009


Jennings has a strong, deep voice, sings with confidence, and makes no apologies for her sound. Best described as pop, there's also a pervading beat behind it all, with electronic chirps sprinkled around. It could all sound pretty hokey, except it doesn't. Her music gives off this vibe that's just...well, cool. Check out the picture. Does this look like someone who totally loves making music or what?!

JenningsWith the unexpected death of her mother in 2001, Jennings was given the opportunity by her father to go through therapy or record an album. "This tragedy rocked me to the core," she says, "...but there is so much beauty in what it allowed me to do. All of my emotions came pouring out of me in the form of melody." Needless to say, I probably wouldn't be writing this if Jennings chose therapy.

Building upon her first two albums and fast forwarding a few years, her most recent recordings are Femtastic and Storybook EP.

Overall, Femtastic has more of an electronic club beat to it. But it isn't any less compelling. From the very first track, the hook is so big that you'll be humming the memorable Falling Higher right after the first listen. If Do Or Die doesn't grab you...either with the beat or with a crushing chord change right after the chorus hits, then check your pulse. Make Believe is what Sade would sound like if she went electronic and drank a cup of coffee -- and that's not a bad thing. The song is a nice change of pace from the rest of the album.

Storybook EP has a mellower feel. Most of the electronics from Femtastic are pared down, but the songs are stronger and, of course, still distinctly Jennings. The songs Doorway and Figure Me Out never seem to resolve themselves musically, maybe I was hoping for that power-pop chord. But after repeated listens, it doesn't matter because Jennings' sound, passion and emotion sound will win you over. I admit I'm a sucker for a good cover, but when a cover is actually better than the original, it says much more about the talent of the artist covering the song than the person who originally wrote the song. Originally written by Rhianna, Jennings treats us to a uniquely beautiful, haunting, and multi-layered experience as she covers Umbrella. Some micro-research: my 11 year old daughter loved it after the first hearing.

But most interesting, when music is a part of your soul, (whether you know it or not) it somehow, someway, manages to bubble up to the surface. The beauty that surfaced from Jennings' tragic loss is our gain.

Jennings - Music You Need to Hear

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