(25 July 2001) The debut album from Joanne Juskus is a
13-track self-titled project produced by Brad Allen (Rudderfish (USA)
HM7720, 2001). Musical Discoveries' visitors will recall our
review of the promo in November 2000.
The Washington, DC-based artist has just released her full length album.
Produced and co-written by Brad Allen, the recording highlights Joanne's
heavenly vocal work compared by some to Annie Haslam and others to Joni
Mitchell and Kate Bush. Yet others hear Sandy Denny at times. The album
certainly illustrates the artist's range.
Light guitar- and keyboard-based arrangements compliment
evocatively sung lead vocals in "Never Be The Same" and "Meet You There."
Instrumental arrangements in the concluding passages of "Never Be The
Same" are especially intriguing; we weren't exactly sure what was going
on with the first play. We were especially reminded of Joni Mitchell's
work in these tracks. "Waters of March" has been reworked since the
demo with a warmer arrangement. The track, written by Antonio Carlos
Jobim, illustrates the clarity of Joanne's voice.
"Breathing Underwater" and "Intersection" move into light
rock and blues respectively. Joanne's voice is especially evocative in
"New Religion" and the dynamic guitar arrangements add greatly to the
overall sound. Joanne's emotional vocal delivery in the dynamic "New
Religion" and soaring excursions in "The Taste Of You" and "Wish" reflect
her artistic sensitivity while gentler acoustic instrumentals reveal another
side of Brad Allen's production talent. The bluesy "Good Thing" and
"2 Days In July" are very Joni Mitchell vocally as well as instrumentally.
Especially noteworthy tracks are "I Am" and
our favourite "Within Your Fire." Soaring and sensual vocals sung are
effectively complimented by light keyboards and light guitar and
percussion in the former, while progressive arrangements of the latter
produce a very Renaissance-like sound and reflect the Annie Haslam
side of Joanne's vocal style. The track blends Indian sounds
with modern rock and Joanne's soaring vocal lead. Dynamic keyboards
and guitar solos reveal the artists' instrumental skills and extremely
well-produced progressive arrangements. Joanne's voice is perfectly
suited for progressive rock. The album concludes with a piano-based
ballad called "Birthday" evocatively and sensually sung with gently
soaring vocal excursions.
Our preview of Joanne's demo recordings revealed a
notable singer / songwriter with an extremely bright future and this
is further underscored with the full length album relase. Also an
established graphic artist, the stunning pre-production demo package
and presskit for the full length album were self-produced.
here to access
Joanne's mp3.com webspace where you can sample some of these tracks for
yourself. Joanne's debut release is worth a journey, and indeed is a
very nice listen!