Sunday, February 6, 2011
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: JENN GRANT - HONEYMOON PUNCH
Oh I love my quirky pop. Grant is a singer-songwriter who loves it too, doesn't want basic instrumentation behind her, but instead wants a full pop production that amplifies the art. You can be an excellent writer, let's say a John Hiatt, and keeps things rootsy. Or you can make the whole production an aural joy too, and that's what you get from Grant. She's matched ably in this effort by producer Daniel Ledwell, a multi-instrumentalist who knows how to make a joyful noise, and creating an often very fun mood around the songs.
Grant doesn't have a traditional voice, but it works well for her, and it is pleasant and different all at once. Which is convenient, because that's what her songs are like. If you follow the storylines, these are positive love songs, and all the jangly guitars, punchy drums, singing synths and clever tempo shifts up the joy considerably. Several of the numbers swing like old Cars songs, including the one-two punch that kicks off the disc, Oh My Heart and How I Met You. I guess it's the retro synths, but there's also that ELO-style solid production that always, always works.
Even the most quiet, folkie numbers have a novelty to them. Baby's Been Away is at it's core sultry ballad, but with the tempo doubled, the drums snapping and mixed up, and the guitars played with force instead of strummed, it becomes a full New Wave piece. And while Paradise Mountain does keep remain slowed-down, sweet and dreamy, this time Grant's double-tracked vocals alone make it modern. There, that's just the first four cuts on this all-round excellent disc, which is perfect to turn any frown upside down.