Bruce Von Stiers
In 2005 I had the opportunity to review a unique album. The title of the album was Bend. Even though it had been classified as folk rock, it was much more than that. The singer / songwriter behind Bend was Jennifer Vazquez. A Bronx native, Jennifer has taken a musical journey that had her in California for quite a while, but she's now based in Nashville.
A sixteen time winner of an ASCAPlu$ award, Jennifer has just released a brand new album. The title of the album is Rediscovering Me. It was produced by Wren Lemieux.
Rediscovering Me has fourteen songs and a play time of fifty-two minutes.
Jennifer and Wren worked on the album in both New Orleans and Austin. The album was a lengthy process. During this time, Jennifer also attended a Joantha Brooke workshop in Nashville to help strengthen her music. Which, in turn, helped Jennifer make enhancements to certain songs on the album.
On the album, Jennifer did the vocals and played acoustic guitar. Wren played electric guitar, bass, piano, organ, Rhodes, percussion, did the programming and provided backing vocals. The two were joined by Ryan Hoyle on drums for three of the songs on the album. Ryan has the Live Drum Tracks studio in L.A. and was the drummer for the rock band Collective Soul for a bit.
So, what is Jennifer's music like? In the past she's been compared to Natalie Merchant. For my review of Bend, I said that you could include a bit of Martina McBride and Sheryl Crow in there as well. The music is kind of folk rock but not exactly. It is hard to put Jennifer and her music into a specific musical category.
After All is the first song. It has great acoustic guitar and light, lyrical vocal. The song is about getting over doubting yourself and moving on with life.
A little bit slower, and sadder sounding, is I Shoulda Told You. It is a love lost lament with a subtle country guitar touch.
It Isn't Mine has a kind of toe tapping beat. It is a song about passing on things to others.
Rocked tells the story of how he rocked her world without even knowing he did. And not exactly in a good way. The song made me think that this might have been something like Sheryl Crow would do.
Let You Back In has light moments, yet has anguishing vocals at times. It asks whether the hurt was overcome enough to let him back into her life.
Worst Enemy has a definite toe tapping sound. It almost has a Country Pop feel to it.
Let's Go Wild is about stepping away from the norm and doing something unusual. The song has a nice country folk flavor.
Another song that talks about stepping out from being average is The Radio In You.
The title track, Rediscovering Me, is a bit more intense than earlier songs in the album. As the title suggests it is about getting rid of the baggage of a relationship and moving on.
New Decks of Cards is about trying a new love life. Aside from the good vocals, there is some decent guitar. But the whole album has some pretty great guitar backing Jennifer's excellent vocals.
Austin Sky has a mellow, alt folk sound.
So Perfectly is a toe tapping, smile effecting love song.
Light, toe tapping blues is the only way I can describe the song I Believe.
Gold is the title of the final song on the album. It is a very strong anthem and a great way to end the album.
As I wrote earlier, Jennifer's music is hard to put into a particular box. A little country and somewhat alt folk, Jennifer pours her heart into each song. You can hear the joy, the heartache, the angst and hopefulness in the vocals as the story in each song unfolds.
It has been a long time since I reviewed Jennifer's album, Bend. But the talent that Jennifer exhibited with that album has only been enhanced through the years. This new album. Rediscovering Me, reminded me of why I became a fan of Jennifer long ago.
Rediscovering Me is out now and can be purchased at amazon.com and other music retailers.
You can learn more about Jennifer Vazquez at her official web site at www.JenniferVazquez.com . You can catch her on Twitter and Instagram and on her Facebook fan page at www.Facebook.com/JenniferVazquezMusic
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© 2017 Bruce E Von Stiers