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Finds You In Love


Jen Wood


New Granada Records

Release Date:


Reviewed by:

Jen Wood was, apparently, some kind of teenage musical prodigy from Seattle, and she has just released a new record after taking seven years off. I have never heard of her before, or Tattle Tale, the band when was in as a youngster. Apparently she also sang with The Postal Service, and i bet that more readers are familiar with her from that collaboration than from her previous work.

The point is this: for me, this record exists in a vacuum. I cannot tell you how it compares to her previous work, either her older solo records or her work in Tattle Tale. I listen to this record as if she is a brand new artist, completely ignorant of her history. And i have to admit that i like what i hear.

The record starts off on a wonderful note with Pills, a song of piano and delicate vocals that builds magnificently, as Ms. Wood sings about ceasing to take her anti-depressants. This is an utterly lovely song, where the piano plinks a counterpoint to her voice and the rumbling bass. On the chorus, a male voice joins in the background and strings well up around the voices. Well done, and the standout on this record.

That is not to say that the nine songs that follow are terrible, just that Ms. Wood chose to put her strongest tune at the beginning. In fact, i find that there is much to enjoy in the remainder fo the album.

You Are the Promise pairs Ms. Wood's voice with piano with a sparse drum beat to great effect. On Let Me Down, Ms. Wood shows that she learned something about electronica while collaborating with The Postal Service, adding some light static in the background, as she harmonizes with the male voice and plays acoustic guitar. This song really works.

On Zeppelin, the voices harmonize over tapped drums and acoustic guitar. Towards the end, there is a really lovely part where her voice fades out, the keyboards make a voiceless ahhing sound, and the male voice sings quietly for a moment before Ms. Wood joins in. It is a really beautiful moment to end the song.

Red Sun features some high-pitched synth strings as well as real strings and horns. This song is, perhaps, the densest tune on the record, but it is not busy by any stretch. There is a backup singer her, but this voice seems female, so perhaps this is a different secondary vocalist, or it is Ms. Wood layered over herself. Either way, it really works. Beautiful features the female harmonies as well, but here the background music is a little less dense, only using the synths strings and some subtle horns on the chorus.

Trust adds a xylophone to the sound mix, and since i, personally, cannot get enough of that instrument, this is very nice. In general, this is a very light song, with call-and-response vocals. On Morning Light, Woods strips her sound down to mostly piano and tremoloed guitar. Her guitar here is nice, almost reminding me of Violet Indiana. Flight brings back a nice xylophone part (which might be a keyboard sample in this case it has a different tone) and a forceful acoustic guitar line. People Like Us sort of sums up all that has come before, with acoustic guitar, a Tortoise-like xylophone, and some sparse electronic sounds.

The record ends with a slow, almost jazzy song called Never Doubt. Ms. Wood sounds her sexiest here, her voice slow with long, breathy, stretched out notes. There is a banjo accompanying her along with brushed drums, the occasional piano bit, and that deep rumbling bass that pervades the record. It is a nice end to the record.

In general, Finds You In Love is a pleasant, light pop record. It is folky, with delicate instrumentation that suits Ms. Wood's voice. She isn't really doing anything all that new here, but she does know what she is doing and she can write a great tune. If you like this type of music, then Finds You In Love is a great purchase, but if female voiced folk-rock is not your thing, you will probably want to pass.

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(Note: As of posting, Pills and Zeppelin are both free to download at the label site.)


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