Courtney Jaye: The Exotic Sounds of Courtney Jaye

[7 February 2010]

By Steve Horowitz

Bongos and Banjos

Courtney Jaye does something sweet and wonderful on her country-music-goes-Hawaiian mash-up. She finds the common sensibility at the heart of both genres, not just in the instrumentation (lap steel guitars) and lilting melodies but in the genuine loopiness that comes out of just being sincere. Jaye’s narrators aren’t afraid to get down an beg for love (“Sometimes Always”), drown their sorrows in cheap alcohol (“Box Wine”), or kick themselves for being stupid (“Queen of Sabotage”). They know the present may suck, but time is always on their side. Jaye’s got the girl-grown-up kind of vocals that make her sound like a woman who hasn’t lost her sense of still believing in love and life as a grand adventure. She complements this impression by having the unusual accompaniment (e.g, bongos and banjos) born out of the mix of musical styles. The careful listener can always hear something mysterious happening in the mix.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/119916-courtney-jaye-the-exotic-sounds-of-courtney-jaye/