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Jen Wood

Finds You in Love

(New Granada; US: 14 Sep 2010; UK: 14 Sep 2010)

Finds You in Love starts with a somber, but beautiful, opening piano riff over ambient strings. Suddenly a vacant Jen Wood sings, “Today I threw away my pills / Against my family doctor’s will / They said they would make me smile / But instead I feel nothing”, bringing the first track, “Pills”, to life, swaying with syncopated drum rhythms, complemented by lovely, if not pedantic, piano chords. The song really makes you want to like it, but like the rest of the album, it wavers between a delicate brilliance, and a whining absurdity. There’s a fine line drawn through this record, and at any time, without warning, Woods can cross from one side to the other. Part of the record is touching and fragile as Wood’s voice quivers like the earnest whimper of a little girl forced into submission, and the other part is filled with an untalented singer who sounds bored and vacuous. Perhaps this is the appeal of Wood’s voice? That it can at any time give you an insightful glimmer into this occasionally moving singer, but then suddenly over-reach its grasp and collapse into itself with its amateurish sensibilities? The beauty of this record is continuously intersecting with what’s wrong with it, ultimately making the listen a very unnerving and uneven experience. The trick here is you never know which way it will go. Will it tumble off scale and annoy the piss out of you? Or will it break your heart with fragile tenderness? The fragility is so precarious that it is continuously breaking in an unpremeditated loop, fixing itself for a moment, only to break again. One thing is for sure, it is never uninteresting.

Rating:

Enio is an MA graduate in Music Sociology who has written his thesis on the cultural regulation of Jamaican dancehall music by the Stop Murder Music campaign. He was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, and has an honours BA degree from the University of Toronto in Equity Studies and Sociology. Enio enjoys understanding the cultural implications of music and how music reinforces cultural identity.


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