Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Review: Jennifer Kaiser “Masquerade”

Pop rock/adult contemporary
From Miami Beach, the singer/songwriter Jennifer Kaiser has released her latest record “Masquerade”. For roughly a decade, Kaiser has been conceiving and polishing her work. She teamed up with Fernando Perdomo (Dreaming In Stereo) to produce and play bass on her album. Among these eleven tracks, there are fruits in their labors.

Kaiser has a soft-spoken beauty in her voice, it is whispery but gripping. At times, it has an uncanny resemblance to Nancy Wilson (Heart). Some of her vocal instincts are a bit unorthodox and travel to places you don’t expect them to go. Sometimes it is pleasantly surprising (“After All”), but other times it will leave you scratching your head (“Ice Cream”). At its worst, on a couple of tracks she sounds off key ("Bleeding Time"). The songs are generally well crafted and work well together to form a cohesive set and unified listen. Among the standout cuts are the slow burning “Wasted” and folk-driven “Machine”. “After All” is a gorgeous ballad that moves you on the first listen. There is a wondrous understated beauty in the melancholy “Break of Dawn” that makes this song very charming. The other tracks are OK, but are limited by inferior melodies or iffy vocals – there is room for growth for the next record.

Combining acoustic pop and rock with an occasional folk or country influence, this record should satisfy most fans of female singer/songwriters. Check out Jennifer Kaiser’s “Masquerade” if you enjoy Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLaughlin, or Shawn Colvin.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 4, 7

Jennifer KaiserOfficial site.

Listen to “Machine”