Album Review: Miles Away by Jen Gloeckner

Album Name: Miles Away
Artist: Jen Gloeckner
Year/Label: 2004 / Independent

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It’s your lucky day! Today we have two CD reviews for the price (?) of one! I recevied both these reviews on the same day! Sounds like a great record.

Review by David Adair

Right from the tremblingly subtle acoustic based opening track; ‘Miles Away’ this soothing US songstress captures with incise precision feelings of emptiness, emanating from small-town life where she grew up and the uncertainty that is a natural corollary of losing touch with the important things in life.

Heather Nova with a tinge of Thea Gilmore style vocals are at the heart of this compelling album that tackles topics like nostalgia and heartbreak. The mood conveyed at times through quite haunting keyboard and cello fuelled instrumentals.

A case in point being ‘Nothing Person’, whereby Jen’s meandering vocals and terse lyrics are bound to set the listener on a mystic mind bending journey with stern reiteration of the line; “Alice followed the rabbit, nothing personal just habit”

There is a dark almost PJ Harvey like kick to some of the tracks like ‘Glue’ and ‘Swarm’ that keeps you on your toes and makes this 15 track album value for money.

Jen oozes authenticity and honesty that is so refreshing in an industry typically devoid of these characteristics. The album unwinds to produce a proud blues finish courtesy of ‘Otherside’ and ‘Wasting Time’, with the former summing up the blues spirit, yet Gloeckner with her upbeat vocal still manages to leave the listener feeling uplifted.

Review by Anna Maria Stjärnell

Every once in a while I come across a record that defies easy categorization. This is one of those. Jen Gloeckner’s music takes in folk, jazz and pop and turns them into her own blend. She has a special voice, warm and individual.

“Hazy Sky” has shades of Stevie Nicks in the singing and melody.

“Nothing Perosnal” is dark and enticing.

“Alice follow the rabbit” she sings to a jazzy backdrop and spins her web of enchantment. “In the garden of lust, souls turn to dust” she warns.

“Spinning Heads” is folk pop with a modern twist. Gloeckner’s lovely vocal make sit just right.

The exotic twist to “Clear the sand” makes it special.

“Mountains” is sublime and expansive. Gloeckner’s voice and guitar woven into a fabulous soundscape.

So “Miles Away” is as perfect as a debut gets. No filler songs, just great ones. Go investigate.

Posted on November 12, 2004

Track Listing
Listen to track samples
1. Miles Away
2. Remember When
3. Hazy Sky
4. Seven Maids
5. Nothing Personal
6. Only 1
7. Spinning Heads
8. Glimpse
9. Glue
10. Clear the Sand
11. Prodigal Son
12. Swarm
13. Mountains
14. OtherSide
15. Wasting Time

[Jen Gloeckner Official Site]

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