CD REVIEW: Jennifer Greer - "The Apiary"
By Gian F - 07/19/2005 - 04:50 PM EDT
Artist: Jennifer Greer
Album: "The Apiary"
Genre: Adult Alternative
Sounds Like: Tori Amos/Kate Bush
Technical Grade: 10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10
Commercial Value: 8
Overall Talent Level: 10
Songwriting Skills: 9
Performance Skill: 10
Best Songs: Walking Home To You, Never, Origami Birds, Downtown, Honey Bee, Hanging On
CD Review: Jennifer Greer, an accomplished pianist/singer/songwriter from Boston, Massachusetts, sent in this extraordinary project, with an extraordinary name: "The Apiary," which is defined as: a place where bees are kept for the purpose of making honey. I assumed it was metaphoric and that Jennifer and her session musicians were the bees, and the studio was the apiary. I don't know if I'm stretching it, but I do know the result of their efforts is sweet like honey.
The jazzy/ambient flavored songs on her sophomore project combine superb musicianship with superior songwriting skills that are a punctuated by her cogent lyrics and an emotionally stimulating voice; a proven formula for critical acclaim.
From the project's emotive intro, "Invited," we are indeed invited to our own surprise - and what a surprise it is! Phenomenal piano playing that transcends proficiency. Jennifer's heart seems to be connected to the piano keys through her fingers which are sure to strike the emotions of anyone who listens. The first track, "Honey Bee," showcases an adroit talent at incorporating multiple melodies and alternative hooks; a technique that she uses throughout the CD. The plush harmonies and provocative guitar playing enhance the listening experience while setting the tone for the brilliance that follows.
The most commercial track, "Walking Home To You," picks up where "Honey Bee" leaves off. It's equally as engaging, but more accessible to radio listeners. It has a Carly Simon feel to it without lacking any orginality of its own. As the CD progresses, Jennifer does conjure up memories of Tori Amos on "Shackleton's Men" and the hauntingly beautiful "Origami Birds," however, she adequately distinguishes herself on the jazzy but aggressive "Downtown Song," and the Bruce Hornsbyesque, "Never" - either of which would make excellent follow-up singles. From track-to-track, there is continuity in quality and consistency that ties this project together; regardless of the tone or tempo of the song you are listening to.
Jennifer's deep repertoire, distinctive voice, and strong identity will easily put her on the "most likely to succeed" list of industry folks who know true talent and recognize commercial viability; a feat she achieved with a self-produced project that features a small collection of qualified musicians (Brian Peltier, Drums; Damian Watson, Bass; Warren Amerman, Guitar; and Eric Roth, Cello) that she manages to get the most out of, while they succeed in bringing out the best in her.
Advice: From your promotional package (which is great by the way) you are ready for major success! Address any weaknesses in your professional team because that's the only thing that I can possibly imagine hampering your success.
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