Jayne Lewis - Exactly Where I Am

Published Tuesday 13th October 2009
Jayne Lewis - Exactly Where I Am
Jayne Lewis - Exactly Where I Am

RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 82671-15730

Reviewed by Phil Hancock

Many may know Jayne from her stints at Keswick Convention and Spring Harvest so you will be aware that she writes heart on sleeve acoustic pop songs and has a gentle soothing voice as warm and colourful as the autumn sky. For those of you who haven't come across Jayne live before, then this album might make a pleasant introduction to an emerging talent. Jayne has written all the songs on this album and also it seems she has chosen the other musicians on the recording process, and this contributes to a tight, coherent collection of songs, well performed and with an underlying sense of fun, enjoyment and experimentation. It seems Jayne has really found herself recording this album. She comes across as self assured and at home in the recording environment, and genuinely enjoying the opportunity to express herself and reveal her talent. Jayne's voice is quite distinct; it is soft, warm, ethereal at times, and capable of a wide range of emotions. The overall tone of the album is mellow and light, however there are darker moments lyrically and with the songwriting. The opening track "Will You? (Here I Stand)" is actually one of the more uptempo numbers, the electric guitars are turned up, the drums drive the tune along, on the chorus Jayne sings "Will you love, will you care, if I'm doubting will you hear me?", a struggle with self belief and insecurities both personally and with faith, a theme explored throughout the album. "Little Miss Nobody" is another rockier number, recorded live at Keswick. She sings "If you could see inside you could see the vulnerability that I'm hiding/And if you could read my mind you would know my insecurities and fears". She sings this over a descending, distorted guitar riff and sounds part Alanis Morisette, part Kate Bush. "Run To You" is the finest vocal moment on the album, she really pours herself into the chorus without overstating the emotion; it's a catchy mid paced pop song with some cool organ parts and gentle guitar that uses her voice really well. "Not Too Proud" is an enchanting piano led ballad, where Jayne talks about issues of insecurity again and feeling fragile in the face of adversity. However, Jayne seems to draw strength from accepting her vulnerabilities and frailties and this album is almost a battle cry to say she will not be worn down by it, you can hear the strength and determination in the lyrics as she sings, "And I know it's in the hard times, that faith is proved".

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Reader Comments

Posted by Matt in North East @ 17:24 on Oct 13 2009

A fantastic, and very accurate review, though I think increasingly Jayne's strength lies in the downbeat songs she writes. Her lyrical fearlessness with respect to questioning her faith in order to reaffirm it is the hallmark of her writing.

The production compared with her debut Orange Sky is freer, much more personal, and has sufficient variety to not only show off her capacity for a range of moods and styles, but also to hold the listeners' attention all the way through.

Finally, I thought the male backing vocals were well performed and complimented the purity of Jayne's voice. Perhaps the man responsible could have a career in music too?

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