(30 September 2000) Singer songwriter Jenny Bruce's debut album is a
self-titled (Jennifer T Bruce (USA) JTB 25997, 1997) 10-track collection of heartfelt
songs lightly accompanied by acoustic and electric guitar. Bruce provides vocals,
piano and acoustic guitar and is joined by Stephen QUinn (electric and acoustic guitar),
Julian Harris (bass), Joy Askew (organ), "Nia" Regina Sharpe (drums) and Mr B (harmonica).
Bruce's voice has a sensual texture balancing sweetness with a rougher texture and power
that works well for the evocative styles of songs on the album and obviously led to her
material being selected for hit WB television series Dawson's Creek. The opening
track to the album, "Music To My Ears," is played at the end of episode #321 Show
Me Love (original air date 21 May 2000) when Joey and Dawson are in Dawson's
room. In addition to her debut self-titled album, Musical Discoveries was provided
a six-track promotional EP from 1999 with tracks from a forthcoming album.
According to Jenny, "Almost every song I've written is inspired by my longing
to connect with people. I talk to people on the street all the time!" Pretty courageous
for someone that lives in New York City! She continued, "I feel most creative when I'm
surrounded by strangers on the subway or walking the streets of New York. That's when the
songs come to me." When you meet Jenny Bruce, her genuine smile and friendly
demeanor conflict with the stereotype of the hard-shell New Yorker. She was born
and raised in Manhattan and atteneded one of the City's elite private all-girl schools.
Bruce began performing during high school but sought work and was discovered ultimately
in Paris. She completed university at Barnard College and developed a large following
in downtown New York City. Her singing and songwriting style are perfectly suited to
the venues available there.
Songs from the debut album are sung with tremendous emotion with vocals
carrying melodies above the backing instrumentals. The album is a ballad lovers'
delight with most songs sung slowly exploring the dimensions of Jenny's vocal talents.
It is no wonder that she was selected as a runner up at the '99 New York Lilith Fair
Talent search. Comparisons to Paula Cole or Jewel have been made by other reviewers.
Jenny tours extensively throughout the New York metro area; recent performances span
a broad range of cafes and nightspots as well as universities. She has also played
a large number of festivals in the tri-state area.
The six-track demo EP struck us immediately with the richer production
supporting the vocals and the uptempo nature of opening track "Soul On Fire."
Additional vocal harmonies are also notable. Slightly more laid back but equally
rich in production is "Human Condition," a lovely track with crisp percussion and vocal
mixing Jenny's raspier sound with her more sweetly evocative style. Heartfelt ballads,
in the style of Jenny's debut album, include "Home" and "Blue Angel"—either would be
as comfortable on Dawson's Creek as the artist's first. "Anybody Out There"
is one of the more dynamically arranged tracks similar to "Music To My Ears" in
texture. The vocal harmonies perfectly support Jenny's searching lead. The EP
concludes with "Heaven.Com" a gentle ballad accompanied mainly by acoustic guitar
but led by crystalline vocals soaring to the edge of her range demonstrating her
virtuosity. Technical folks especially will enjoy the lyrics.
Jenny Bruce should be releasing her second album in the
autumn of 2000. In the meantime, you can find further reviews, hear
several sound samples and order Jenny Bruce's self-titled album from amazon.com
here. You can find further soundbites at the artist's
Her music is certainly worth further exploration and we believe
that our readers will agree that the debut album is a very nice listen!