Friday, October 24, 2014

Jenn Grant: "Compostela" (album review)

PEI singer Jenn Grant has built herself a nice sized audience.  She's back this week to try to increase it some more with the new album Compostela.

The overarching sound of Grant's songs don't vary much.  That would be fine if she's played hook-filled rock, but she doesn't.  The lightly atmospheric vibe of tracks like "Barcelona", "Wild Animal", and "Spanish Moon" (among others) only serves to make the listener search for something else to do to occupy his or her mind.

On occasion it does work.  A tiny hook is added to the soothing "Trailer Park".  "No One's Gonna Love You (Quite Like I Do)" offers up an appealing type of restrained jubilation.

A pair of darker numbers help break the run of same-sounding tracks.  The first is the eerie "Canadian Maple Grove".  The second is the jazz lounge inspired "Mauve".

The bounce of "American Man" helps shine a light on what's missing with Grant's songs.  Just that small element makes you yearn for a rootsier Grant.  We get a glimpse of it on "Hummingbird", and it's far more engaging than the often lifeless quasi-orchestrals.

While Buck 65's slow-paced rap interlude on "Spades" borders on absurd, credit must be given to Grant for thinking outside the box and trying something interesting with the cut.

Compostela is by no means a terrible record.  There are just far better albums out there to spend your time with.

Jenn Grant plays the EnWave Theatre in Toronto on November 20th.

Best tracks: "Hummingbird", "No One's Gonna Love You (Quite Like I Do)"

Track listing for Compostela:
  • Bombshell
  • Trailer Park
  • Spades
  • Stranger In the Night
  • Bring Me a Rose
  • Barcelona
  • No One's Gonna Love You (Quite Like I Do)
  • Canadian Maple Grove
  • Wild Animal
  • Spanish Moon
  • American Man
  • Hummingbird
  • Mauve

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