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Current concise reviews of the albums by adult alternative, contemporary, and crossover artists. Images of album artwork and links to both internet-based resources are always included. Click on the title to view the article.

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Miles Away CD Cover
Image © Jen Gloeckner ASCAP 2003

Jen Gloeckner
Photo © Sarah Ehrler 2004

Miles Away (Hazy Sky Publishing Spinning Head Records (USA), 2004) is the debut album for alt/folk, alt/jazz, alt/country singer, Jen Gloeckner. With words and music as well as production by Jen, this self-releasedalbum is certainly a one-woman effort. She contributes a proficient acoustic guitar, keyboards, vocals and harmonies to the array of melodies. Jen's voice has a striking similarity to that of Stevie Nicks and therefore this album is likely to appeal to her fans as well.

Jen approaches her music gently, with slow-moving tunes, in a husky, twangy vocalization. Her laid-back approach conveys a moodiness to her songs. The title track, "Miles Away," opens with wonderful guitar riffsand has a gentle, lighthearted feel. "Remember When" continues with soft strumming of the guitar, and her almost nasal vocals.

She changes to a more upbeat melody in "Hazy Sky," yet she still captures the relaxed and lazy mood with her impeccable guitar. The haunting "Seven Maids" follows with Jen's wonderful storytelling style. Drums by OlenFranklin and cello by Kameron Cole certainly add to the hypnotic approach to this tune.

"Nothing Personal" has a wonderful mix of percussion and down-home vocal expression. Another stand-out tune is the upbeat "Clear the Sand." Some amazing flute solos by Jen Wiater and congas by Olen Franklin contribute tothe rhythmic and gripping music.

Having been likened to numerous female artists including Tori Amos, Joni Mitchell and Stevie Nicks, Jen comes into her own on this traditionally rooted album. This Iowa born singer/songwriter has certainly created an album thathas expression, a variety of moods, and an intimate feel. Talented Jen Gloeckner is certainly an artist to keep watching out for in the future.

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