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!