Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Down to Earth
Genres: Dance & Electronic, World Music, Pop, Rock
Down To Earth is the 2008 album by Jem. Since her 2004's acclaimed Finally Woken, Jem has spanned the globe. Born in Wales, she resides in LA. On Down to Earth Jem shared production and writing duties with cohorts both ol... more »
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Down To Earth is the 2008 album by Jem. Since her 2004's acclaimed Finally Woken, Jem has spanned the globe. Born in Wales, she resides in LA. On Down to Earth Jem shared production and writing duties with cohorts both old and new, Jeff Bass, one of the two brothers credited with discovering Eminem, and Lester Mendez (Shakira, Santana, and Nelly Furtado). On three other selections, she joined forces with Mike Bradford (bass with Kid Rock) and counts Uncle Kracker and Deep Purple among his production credits.The album reflects the singer/songwriters far-ranging influences including Brazilian percussion on the title track, a hip shaking track complete with funky banjos on 'Crazy' and the tempestuous Latin-flavored track 'I Want You To'.
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Myles M. from LOVINGTON, IL
Reviewed on 11/8/2013...
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Amanda Richards | Georgetown, Guyana | 09/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There's no other word for it - Jem sparkles in this long awaited follow up to her 2004 debut album Finally Woken.
Her music will be familiar to fans of popular shows such as Grey's Anatomy, The OC, 24, Six Feet Under, Gossip Girl and others, as well as the movies Eragon and $ex and the City, as it seems that music by this talented Welsh singer/songwriter is just about everywhere you turn.
This album is an interesting mix of musical genres - funk, latin, and pop, among others. On one track she sings with South African singer/songwriter Vusi Mahlasela, and in others she sings in Japanese and Spanish.
The singles so far are the brilliant "So Amazing" (from the movie $ex and the City); the retro-funky "Crazy" (from Gossip Girl) and "I Always Knew" (from 90210)
Watch for possible singles in the Latin beat track "I Want You to.." (think Shakira); the inspirational "Keep On Walking"; the peppy dance track "Aciiid!" (think Britney when she's on form) and the mellow "And So I Pray" and "On Top of the World".
All the tracks are co-written by Jem (Jemma Griffiths), and every track is a winner. Highly recommended for just about everybody.
Amanda Richards, September 27, 2008
I want you to know me
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 09/21/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of my biggest problems with Jem's debut album "Finally Woken" was that too many of the songs sounded alike. They were very pretty songs, but still too alike.
Fortunately that problem is nicely remedied in the songs of "Down to Earth," the more colourful and textured sophomore album. Without losing her signature sound, the Welsh pop singer splatters her upbeat pop tunes and occasional plaintive ballads with a wide range of instrumentation and some sharper beats. It's a more mature, rounded album and it unfolds with only a few musical hiccups.
It opens with a heartbeat, a rippling piano, and a breath of wind, before fading out... only to be replaced by a solid, uptempo pop melody. The song itself is far less sunny -- "So capable of love yet/too scared to open up... creating problems daily/no wonder some go crazy/so special and so gifted/most don't know his stare..." Jem sings sadly over the sharp beats and buttery pop melodies. "I don't think you see/your destiny/and it makes me sad..."
She opts for a deliciously funky tone in the sharp-edged "Crazy," and then does a total about-face for the sensual, Latin-flavoured dancefest of "I Want You To" ("Moving forward and arching backward/that hot look in your eye...."). Though Jem never goes as far stylistically as in those first few songs, she mixes it up pretty well -- delicate piano ballads, straightforward pop tune, jazzy little tunes, wonky experimental fuzz-acid-dance, a breathless pop-rocker, and finishing up with the breezy, sunny "On Top of the World."
Perhaps the best representation of "Down To Earth" is the twinkly hand-clapping "I Always Knew," a sprightly little pop tune about "making to the top" and how "if I got to toughen up that is what I'll do." Compared to her rougher, less mature debut album, Jem's latest work is much fuller and more mature, and she takes some bold forays into heretofore unexplored territory with new confidence -- although she stumbles in the painfully awkward "Got it Good" ("Whatever color, race or creed/come on and hold my hand/cause I don't differentiate").
Part of "Down To Earth's" polish comes from the smooth instrumentation. Most of the album is a smooth, glossy interweaving of jazzy piano, violins, a folky guitar, ethereal music-box tinkles, and gentle sweeps of mellow synth winding around the more organic instrumentation. That could have been very monotonous, but Jem dodges the bullet by draping her melodies with some amazing flourishes -- M.I.A.-style electronica, wah-wah guitars, wind chimes, wobbling distortion, handclaps. "Keep On Walking" even ends with a gospel-style choir.
And Jem's husky, flexible voice runs through the center of each song, singing of struggles in the music biz, lost loved ones ("You will make it through/I promise you/she would want you to"), faithless lovers, idealistic dream-pursuit, and even a song from the POV of a extraterrestrial observer. Her songwriting is perhaps the weakest point -- they're not bad, but they're not excellent either ("And you'll see/cause if it's meant to be/nothing can compare to deserving your dreams... it's amazing/makes my heart sing...").
Jem's second album hits some lyrical speedbumps, but "Down To Earth" successfully polishes up her mellow pop tunes even as it adds new life and colour to them. Definitely a worthwhile little pop album."