Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Similarly Requested CDs
Jennifer Van Bergen | Florida | 04/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a "retired" singer/songwriter/actress from a musical family, who memorized and made up high soprano harmonies to every Joni Mitchell tune in the 1970's, and first heard The Story at Ikea's in Elizabeth, N.J. in the early 1990's. I wasn't immediately reached by Jennifer's debut CD.
I held onto it for a few years and listened to it again recently, only to become completely taken by it. It is interesting to me that I can agree with both those reviewers who found Jennifer's voice and songwriting remarkable and those who felt it was nothing new or greatly different than The Story.
I believe that Jennifer was far more the woman behind Jonatha Brooke in The Story than has been recognized. (Jonatha acknowledged her on her first solo CD with thanks to Jennifer for "your voice and care, and for bringing The Story such a long way," but the story behind The Story is far more complex, I believe.)
And I believe that Jennifer may not even have recognized this herself until after the two performers split. On the CD cover, Jennifer acknowledges Leslie Holmes "for bringing back my voice and helping me to feel like I could sing anything." It seems that Jennifer may not have realized her own talent.
Mind you, I love Jonatha's stuff, also. But while Jonatha is also terribly talented, she's more hardened, too. Both are rare talents but Jennifer's talent is perhaps more complex and fragile.
It is also interesting that at least one of The Story crew stuck with Jennifer -- namely Ben Whitman -- while at least one other went with Jonatha -- namely Alain Mallet).
Jennifer acknowledges Ben Whitman's "enduring optimism, unswerving concentration and burning musical ideas [that] made these songs fly." Jonatha acknowledges Alain "for pulling me through the abyss, for love, for music."
Jonatha's early lyrics pointed to forbidden relationships with women and desperately harmful ones with men (not to mention those with her rather disturbed parents), but she apparently ended up becoming an adopted member of the French family of Alain who was one of her producer/arrangers, while Jennifer seems to have retained her professional relationship with others of the original team.
Both seem to have maintained their relationship with Ben Wisch, engineer, of Blue Jay Studio, Carlisle, MA. (whom Jennifer acknowledges for his "shimmering mixes, an open heart, and the big view." (Ben mixed Jonatha's first solo CD "Plumb.")
The Story appears to have relied on mutual dependency in a peculiar, symbiotic attraction, which ended up in ashes like the Phoenix bird.
When I saw the two at Ikea, they were amazing but very unfriendly to their audience, as though snobbishness was the mark of talent, and one fellow who was trying to ask them something (and got a cold shoulder) walked off remarking on their rudeness.
Years later in concert, Jonatha, solo, told the audience that the word "stone" in her song, "Blood from a Stone," was her mother's maiden name. At Jonatha's announcement of "Angel in the House," -- a clearly autobiographical story about her parents -- Jonatha's father, who was sitting like a statute next to Jonatha's mother directly in front of me in the audience, for the first time seemed affected and moved.
Whatever the complexities of the relationship between Jonatha and Jennifer, which obviously created fallout for both of them, Jennifer seems to have recovered and found her wings. It's been a few years since the album came out and no more have followed. I hope she does more. Her voice alone is inspiring to me (a fellow high soprano with fragile undertones). Thank you, Jennifer."
Immensely satisfying music
R. Denise | midwest | 09/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A Story fan and a Jonatha Brooke fan, I had no idea what to make of this album for the first several listens. The sounds were so complex, and I could make no sense of the melodies. The songs seemed to follow no understandable pattern whatsoever. Of course, I'm glad I stuck with it. When the pieces of the puzzle came together for me, it seemed like I'd known every song forever and every note was as natural as breathing. The initial complexity of the music means that it continues to be gripping many, many listens later, as some new subtlety finds its way to my ears. This album is an emotive, original, and cohesive work of art. Kimball's unique and unusual approach to songwriting cannot be likened to anything I've ever heard. Some parts of the album are so beautiful, I find myself holding my breath so as not to miss a second (the refrain of "the stars are a canopy over me" on "Kissing in the Car", for one example). I will be anxiously anticipating her future work."
Feeling "...the Wave"
krimmy | 11/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Story remains one of my favorite bands. Jonatha Brooke went her direction, and so did Jennifer. The sound of The Story came through for me more with this CD than did any of Jonatha Brooke's. (Not to say anything pejorative about Jonatha Brooke's CDs, they're merit-worthy for their own reasons -- I have all of them!) Jennifer Kimball's melodic voice and terrific lyrics make this a wonderful listen. This CD made me truly wistful that there are only two available CDs from The Story."