While in no way denigrating the preceding tunes, to get a full feel for the transformative powerof Barb Jungr's musical and vocal vision, go straight to the final track on this CD, Geln Campbell's "Wichita Lineman". To hear her alternately draw in tenderly and unfurl the tune - ably aided by pianist Simon Wallace - is a wondrous experience.
Indeed, its one of many on what is a well crafted, but soulful, intimate and contemporary sounding set that should resonate equally with jazz vocal purists (although the material in the truest sense is not jazz, no matter), coffeehouse hipsters or nightclub veterans.
Whether individual tuiens, like the Monkees' "I'm A Believer" or medleys like "This Old Heart of Mine-Love Hurts" the Brit chanson gets inside the song, a cliche, we admit, but if you follow my directive at the beginning of this review it should become obvious. Her empahty is clear on the Holland-DOzier-Holland classic. When Jungr coos the "I love you-ou-ou" line first made famous by the Isley Bros. all the palintive yet defiant commitment of the origianl is magically transposed.
Separate from the vocal hijinks, the album also succeeds musically. While most of the material is taken at an easygoing ballad pace, those expecting lullabies will be wowed by subtle shifts in tempo and the varied sonic palette that Jungr and Wallace have put together. One of this writer's favourite pop songs is Briab Eno and David Byrne's "Once In A Lifetime" a song I thought it would hard, if not impossible to successfully update. But here, Jungr's lyrics are gently dunked amid a swirl of sometimes Oriental, sometimes Southwestern sonic patches. Also she makes good use of the song's refrains and repeated phrases ("Same as it ever was" is one example)to transport the listener into an experience with even more gravitas than the original suggested.
As another reviewer has stated "Jungr needs no added ingredients to improve her communication of the intense feelings contained in these great songs." Given this lush attention, her "men" should be feeling pretty stoked - same goes for music lovers everywhere
Track listing:Once in a Lifetime; I'm a Believer; Breaking Down the Walls of Heartache; Night Comes On; Can't Get Used to Losing You / Red Red Wine; The River; I Saw the Light; This Old Heart of Mine / Love Hurts; Everything I Own; You Ain't Going Nowhere; My Little Town; Wichita Lineman
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