February 2, 2011
Cd review: “Masquerade” – Artist: Jennifer Kaiser
Review by Tad Sharpe
Label: Forward Motion Records
This cd has not left my player in a week. Jennifer Kaiser’s new cd, Masquerade, is a deep, thoughtful piece of work, it presents a nice intricacy of instruments to complement her earthy, emotional voice. She reminds me of Heart’s Nancy Wilson very much. Her prowess on the guitar and her personal and close vocals are sweet, they reach into your soul and feel warm like a good stew.
“Masquerade” has all the plush arrangements and details of any major release and is better produced than anything I’ve heard in years, even commercially. I had the pleasure to interview Ms Kaiser for this review and she tells me it represents ten years of work and has on it : producer and bassist wonderkid Fernando Perdomo, current leader of the rock group DREAMING IN STEREO and has played with grammy winner Jorge Moreno – Fernando now also has FORWARD MOTION RECORDS in florida, on THAT other side of the Atlantic, supporting and releasing local bands internationally; Drummer and Leader of the stadium rockers DC3, Derek Cintron; lead guitarist George Chavles of Los Angeles rock bands “the DI’s” and “the Red Devils”; and to top it off, Grammy-Award winning engineer Felipe Tichaeur, who mixed the entire album after he re-recorded her vocals with two microphones very meticulously placed for every recording, AND IT SOUNDS LIKE IT!
Every song has clean reproduction of each instrument – the piano’s are crisp, the drums sound real and the guitars sound earthy, whole and in-your-face. Technically its a superior recording to say the least.
The cd starts with my favorite track, “Don’t Hide”, with arpeggiated guitars and light piano, her voice sweetly fills the room as the rest of the instruments come in. Its a personal song, and makes a direct statement. I won’t spoil the end of the movie by telling you ALL about the song – go get the cd or download to hear this wonderful Artist. “Machine” starts as a sweet ballad and takes a left turn onto Rock and Roll boulevard, says things about friendship. The guitar lead on this song SCORCHES, very nice! “Ice Cream” has nice rhythm guitars, solid background and I love the organ swells in the background, its a light song that relationships in a cheeky way. “After All” starts with interweaved acoustic guitars and electric leads surrounding her voice, its a direct song about leaving, Ms K pours her heart into her vocals, its emotional music. “Pretty Boy” stars with tremeloed guitars and segues into a carnival like musical rhythm, its a bouncy song about possession. “Paper Doll” starts with very intimately recorded vocals and acoustic guitar and it rolls into intricate musical landscapes, its a direct statement that touches emotions with her voice and delivery. “Break of Dawn” is a deep introspective song, it carries her trademark earthiness well and the accordion in the background gives it a sound that floats well. “Bleeding Time” reminds me of Joni Mitchell, the organs in this give it a regal sound, the rhythms carry it nicely, and leaves a good feeling. “Broken Vase” has a sparce musical start that gallops after a few measures and builds into a great production, a well done recording that has a full spectrum of sounds that balance nicely. Her voice is crisp. “Stop This Minute” is a slow ballad. It starts with her naked voice and a guitar and adds along each line, building into a nicely done rhythm, and cruises along like drive along the beach. This song is her vehicle to deliver a direct and dramatic message. “Running One” is a slow song with great drum accents, the bassline is deep in this and the guitars add synergy to the mix. Her voice is taunting.
I enjoyed her cd very much, it has attitude and spine to it, she speaks her mind clearly and paints pictures with her melodies, an outstanding production! I expect her to do very well with this release and look forward to more. Currently signed to Forward Motion Records, she is on facebook and twitter, and can be downloaded to iTunes for those of you in too much of a rush to get that antique spinning piece of plastic called a CD, its faster than waiting for the post! Specially for international releases, yay!