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Love Decides
Image © 2000 River Road Entertainment 
 

(11 December 2000) While her earlier albums date back to 1976, Jane Olivor's first new album in eighteen years is an eleven track collection entitled Love Decides (Varese Sarabande (USA) 302 066 198 2, 2000). The album was produced by Steve A Addabo, whose guitar parts grace all but one of the selections. While there are tww Olivor originals, "However Dark The Night" and "In The Moment," written by Olivor with Rede and Addabbo respectively, the majority of the tracks are covers of tunes written by others. October Project's Marina Belica provides backing vocals to "Night Song," Olivor's interpretation of "Bury My Lovely" and "In The Moment."

Jane Olivor's singing naturally dominates the album. She says, "This is my first album in 18 years and it's finally here. I'm thrilled to be able to share it with all of my fans and I am so grateful for your loyalty and love. I think you with all my heart. I excitedly welcome new fans who I hope will become old friends." The album effectively balances uptempo, midtempo and slowly sung heartfelt ballads.

While "Warm," title track "Love Decides" and "Half Heaven, Half Heartache" provide a lovely introduction to the artist's repertoire, the uptempo 1997 Olivor / Rede track "However Dark The Night" is the first truly standout track on the album. Jane sings in a mid- to low-register and, while soaring vocal excursions do occur, she doesn't go into the stratosphere. Her vocal work is consistently evocative, sensual with a mature emotional delivery outweighing the need for a vast range. "However Dark The Night" has a lovely alternative rock arrangement and Marina Belica's backing vocals add a lovely texture to the choruses. Jane's emotional vocal delivery and both sax and guitar solos during the instrumental bridge is highly notable.

Jane Olivor's interpretation of the Emil Adler/Julie Flanders track "Bury My Lovely" originally performed by Mary Fahl and Marina Belica with October Project on the band's debut album is the standout track on the album. Vocally stunning in every respect, Steve Gabour's keyboard arrangement and guitars by Steve Addabbo give the cover a truly unique, somewhat Celtic touch. While backing vocal work by Marina Belica and Emil Adler in Olivor's interpretation of the song adds a lovely texture, the lead vocal is most evocative and sensual, adding a new dimension to this October Project classic. Jane's soaring lead in the chorus while sung lower is also reminscent of Karnataka's Rachel Jones and further justifies their comparison made to October Project made by our readers.

Production quality perfectly compliments vocal performance and instrumental arrangements in the heartfelt ballads "I Had This Man" and "I Believe In You." The uptempo "In The Moment" is a more highly accessible song with lovely multi-tracked backing harmony vocals adding texture most effectively. "Colors of the Wind" is a theatrical style ballad and most effectively illutrates Jane Olivor's ability to transmit an emotional message within her singing. The album concludes with the lightly accompanied ballad "I'll Be There" further illustrating the singer's sensitive delivery.

Clearly Jane Olivor's Love Decides is a wonderfully produced return to the mainstream album for this extremely talented singer songwriter. Standout tracks on the album are balanced with emotively sung ballads and demonstrate the range and depth of the artist. You can find other albums by Jane Olivor, and read reviews, hear soundbites and order the album from amazon.com here. October Project enthusiasts will be delighted to hear Jane's interpretation of the classic "Bury My Lovely," and while the entire album is excellent, this one track will certainly justify its purchase. Worth a journey and lots of further exploration, the album is a very nice listen!

 
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