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Jenny Bruce CD Cover
Image © 1997 Jennifer T Bruce

Jenny Bruce
Image © 2000 Jennifer T Bruce

 

(30 September 2000) Singer songwriter Jenny Bruce's debut album is a self-titled (Jennifer T Bruce (USA) JTB 25997, 1997) 10-track collection of heartfelt songs lightly accompanied by acoustic and electric guitar. Bruce provides vocals, piano and acoustic guitar and is joined by Stephen QUinn (electric and acoustic guitar), Julian Harris (bass), Joy Askew (organ), "Nia" Regina Sharpe (drums) and Mr B (harmonica). Bruce's voice has a sensual texture balancing sweetness with a rougher texture and power that works well for the evocative styles of songs on the album and obviously led to her material being selected for hit WB television series Dawson's Creek. The opening track to the album, "Music To My Ears," is played at the end of episode #321 Show Me Love (original air date 21 May 2000) when Joey and Dawson are in Dawson's room. In addition to her debut self-titled album, Musical Discoveries was provided a six-track promotional EP from 1999 with tracks from a forthcoming album.

According to Jenny, "Almost every song I've written is inspired by my longing to connect with people. I talk to people on the street all the time!" Pretty courageous for someone that lives in New York City! She continued, "I feel most creative when I'm surrounded by strangers on the subway or walking the streets of New York. That's when the songs come to me." When you meet Jenny Bruce, her genuine smile and friendly demeanor conflict with the stereotype of the hard-shell New Yorker. She was born and raised in Manhattan and atteneded one of the City's elite private all-girl schools. Bruce began performing during high school but sought work and was discovered ultimately in Paris. She completed university at Barnard College and developed a large following in downtown New York City. Her singing and songwriting style are perfectly suited to the venues available there.

Songs from the debut album are sung with tremendous emotion with vocals carrying melodies above the backing instrumentals. The album is a ballad lovers' delight with most songs sung slowly exploring the dimensions of Jenny's vocal talents. It is no wonder that she was selected as a runner up at the '99 New York Lilith Fair Talent search. Comparisons to Paula Cole or Jewel have been made by other reviewers. Jenny tours extensively throughout the New York metro area; recent performances span a broad range of cafes and nightspots as well as universities. She has also played a large number of festivals in the tri-state area.

The six-track demo EP struck us immediately with the richer production supporting the vocals and the uptempo nature of opening track "Soul On Fire." Additional vocal harmonies are also notable. Slightly more laid back but equally rich in production is "Human Condition," a lovely track with crisp percussion and vocal mixing Jenny's raspier sound with her more sweetly evocative style. Heartfelt ballads, in the style of Jenny's debut album, include "Home" and "Blue Angel"—either would be as comfortable on Dawson's Creek as the artist's first. "Anybody Out There" is one of the more dynamically arranged tracks similar to "Music To My Ears" in texture. The vocal harmonies perfectly support Jenny's searching lead. The EP concludes with "Heaven.Com" a gentle ballad accompanied mainly by acoustic guitar but led by crystalline vocals soaring to the edge of her range demonstrating her virtuosity. Technical folks especially will enjoy the lyrics.

Jenny Bruce should be releasing her second album in the autumn of 2000. In the meantime, you can find further reviews, hear several sound samples and order Jenny Bruce's self-titled album from amazon.com here. You can find further soundbites at the artist's mp3.com website. Her music is certainly worth further exploration and we believe that our readers will agree that the debut album is a very nice listen!

 
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