Album Review: Jarah Jane – Underwater Balloons (2008)


For the uninitiated Jarah Jane is one of the multitude of Canadian songstresses that just seem to keep appearing. Sadly for Jarah though she seems to have managed to remain something of a secret from the masses. Quite how the fickle finger of fate decides who shall make it to the top table is beyond me but if there is any justice in the world Jarah Jane will take her place there at some point. She has all the quirky infectious popiness of Chantal Kreviazuk, the grit of Alannah Myles, the grown up melody of Sarah McLachlan and the eccentricity of Kate Bush all thrown into one highly addictive breathy rasping style which just grows and grows.

An undercurrent of vulnerability and sexuality is evident throughout this album. Listen through good quality headphones to get the full effect of the sensual delivery. It is clear that she has spent a great deal of time perfecting a style which is unique but comfortably familiar. There are even echoes of Sandy Denny on ‘The Battle of Evermore’ in the similarly Zeppelinesque folkiness of ‘Hope’. ‘ABC’ and ‘Butterfly’ are as good as anything Chantal Kreviazuk has put out in years. ‘Running On’ and ‘Wait In the Middle’ are songs that remind me of Alannah Myles. ‘Dark’ is very Kate Bush like and the title track wouldn’t be out of place on a Sarah McLachlan album. Even the track ‘Miles Away’ which has a male lead vocal, a rather odd decision in my mind, is good with a nice catchy melody. In fact that is the strength of the album, infectious hooks, catchy melodies and great vocals. In fact if your foot isn’t tapping and your head isn’t nodding within seconds of the opening track book yourself an appointment with the doctor because you are probably dead.

‘Underwater Balloons’ is a right little gem of an album that really deserves to be heard by a wider audience.

© Martin Leedham. First Published on RYM July 2010

About Martin Leedham

Music critic, Horse Racing Tipster, Hapless Dreamer, Defender of the Underdog
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1 Response to Album Review: Jarah Jane – Underwater Balloons (2008)

  1. dick says:

    I love Jarah. She’s incredibly talented and a real sweetie too. I have a copy of everything she’s recorded, most of which she gave to me as a gift (I’ve followed her since 2006 maybe?). Everyone should know about her. The business just wasn’t kind to her. If you haven’t heard her music, find it, you’re in for a real treat!

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