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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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Jamie Lynn Noon - A Moment To Break - CD Cover
image © Jamie Lynn Noon 2009

Jamie Lynn Noon - Angels Spoke - CD Cover
image © Jamie Lynn Noon 2010

(14 March 2011) Jamie Lynn Noon is a California Bay Area native, who cannot recall a time when music was not a part of her life. She has released two EPs entitled A Moment To Break (2009) and Angels Spoke (2010). The first EP was recorded when the artist was 22 years old. Jamie Lynn showcases the best of her vast catalogue of hook-laden, irresistibly catchy songs on these two EPs. She has a mid-range crystalline vocal clarity most similar to Nichole Nordeman. The artist's two EPs were co-produced by Jamie and film/television music veteran and producer Kevin Harris and mastered by Grammy Award-winning engineer Brian Gardner (No Doubt/Christina Aguilera/Avril Lavigne).

Often starting from a simple lyrical or melodic concept, Jamie, who trained early on the flute and in choirs, sits down at the piano and has the ability to have songs pour out of her in their entirety, as fully formed compositions. Jamie Lynn then realizes the songs into their ultimately lush productions working with longtime producer Kevin Harris in his Bay Area studio. All of the songs were written and sung (lead and background) by Jaimie Lynn; Kevin Harris is the musician on all the recordings. The projects were mastered by Brian Gardner. She says, "When I play the songs for Kevin, he knows exactly what feeling I want and we arrange those songs to capture that vision." And the two make for a potent partnership.

A Moment To Break. The six-track EP begins with the track "Second of a Spark." It is an an upbeat ode to forgetting about the future and living life in the moment that belies the young singer's years. "Blind" is one of two songs written as a waltz, testimony to Jamie Lynn's ability to write in unusual time signatures and still pull off perfect pop confectionaries. This song reflects on regrets and not knowing what you have until it's gone.

The title track is Jamie Lynn's most personal composition. It looks at the inevitability that life can change in a moment and pines for the hope that something good can still come of the loss. The track is further evidence that Jamie is writing of experiences that far surpass this gifted ingénue's age. "Waste It on You" is simple in form, yet completely personal in its honesty, ruminating on the need to rise above circumstances in order to remain true to yourself.

The ensuing "I'm Trying" was the second song that Jamie Lynn ever composed, though it has lived with her and evolved over the course of its life. It deals with the hardships one has to overcome in choosing the career of an artist. "I initially wrote it five years ago and did a demo with just vocals and acoustic guitar, but I put it on hold for a while. And now, it's been restructured and rerecorded, but still has that initial raw emotion I wanted to retain," explains the artist.

"To Finally" is the ultimate closing track written in a unique 6/8-time structure and based on a brilliant chord sequence Jamie worked out at the piano. It completely sums up the themes of the EP in an uplifting and universal fashion. Clearly, Jamie Lynn Noon is a gifted artist working in an arena way beyond her youthful age. A Moment to Break is a great debut.

Angels Spoke. The six-track EP by Jamie Lynn Noon is a tremendous follow-up to the artist's debut. It launches with "Secret Power," a rhythmic pop number emotionally sung atop electric guitar-based rock arrangements with subdued backing harmonies. In contrast, "(Over and Over) and Over Again" is sung against bluesy acousto-electric arrangement that illustrates the singer's ability to powerfully tug at heartstrings. Listen for the well-played guitar solo and backing harmonies in the bridge.

The EP's title track builds intensity in both arrangement and vocal styling. Production treatment of the singer's voice perfectly compliments the richer gently rocking arrangement. The lovely ballad "Like A Meteor" best illustrates Jamie Lynn's crystalline vocal quality. Extremely rich backing self-harmonies perfectly complement her lead. Jamie Lynn's harmonies are even more pronounced in the lovely song "Til Ya Make It" and produce a song with duet qualities.

Jamie Lynn's latest EP concludes with the stunning track "Take Me Home." The singer's crystalline lead vocal glides atop gentle arrangements. Lush harmonies blend perfectly and add tremendous texture in the song's choruses. Jamie Lynn Noon has delivered her audience a stunning follow-up EP to her debut. We can't wait for a full length album from this rapidly emerging singer songwriter.

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