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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Raining Jane - The Good Match

Raining Jane - The Good Match
2011, Raining Jane

Los Angeles rockers Raining Jane has turned being Indie into an art form.  From 2004 to 2009 the band played better than 120 shows per year.  They've been regular tour partners with Sara Bareilles over the past ten years, and have been writing songs and performing with Jason Mraz since 2007.  Aside from their solo work, Raining Jane has played on a number of albums for other artists; most recently on Willy Porter's wonderful How To Rob A BankRaining Jane has earned song placements on Grey's Anatomy and So You Think You Can Dance, and continues to dance right on the edge of national consciousness.  All that may change in 2011 with the release of Raining Jane's latest album, The Good Match

Raining Jane opens with the mid-tempo rock n roll love song "The Good Match".  The edgy, almost urgent feel of this song makes for a compelling introduction if you're not familiar with Raining Jane.  Either way, it's a great tune, and a great way to kick off the album.  "Oh Song" features an intriguing melody that wends its way through your consciousness.  There's a deep pop sensibility here in an off-the beaten path number that sounds like a cross between the Go-Go's and Wilson Phillips with a bit of Lisa Loeb thrown in.  "Storming" is a blue pop ballad that almost wants to be country; the cello adds an unusual dimension here that's appealing.  Chaska Potter's voice is absolutely gorgeous here.

"Wish You Were Here" is a haunting love song written to one who is far away.  The mix of longing, remembrance and hope evokes subtle layers of beauty as the emotions mix and roil in gentle waves.  "A World That's Made For Me And You" is a bright and airy, yet low-key pop song about the perfect place and the perfect love.  Raining Jane's vocal harmonies are absolutely enchanting here.  The ladies of Raining Jane side step into country-tinged folk pop with "Enough", featuring a slow-arching chorus that's unforgettable and vocal harmonies that can only be described as angelic. 

Raining Jane goes for gold with "Paper Cut", a silly little love song that gets stuck in your head and refuses to go away.  This low-key acoustic pop number will take you by surprise and stay with you for a long, long time.  "From Me To You" has many of the same qualities, although the theme is a bit more complex.  Once again, however, getting the song out of your head will take some effort.  Raining Jane's cover of Pat Benetar’s "Love Is A Battlefield" is tortured and dark; beautiful and tragic all at once.  Benetar sang it as an anthem, whereas Raining Jane presents the song as a dark, needful entreaty that slowly grows in confidence but never loses the sense of heartbreak.  Running Jane closes on a somber, hopeful note with the lyric beauty of "New Year", combining voices in a plaintive wish for goodness to become.  This quiet moment of reflection and hope for the future carries a plaintive beauty that leaves a distinct impression; you'll find yourself drawn back for more.

Raining Jane shows a distinctive ability to write gorgeous, substantive pop songs in folk/rock arrangements that make an impression.  The voices here are first class, and Raining Jane's chemistry as a band finds all the pieces fitting together as if they were never otherwise.  The Good Match is an inspiring listen; the sort that makes lifelong fans out of novices.  Don't miss this album.

Rating: 4.5 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more about Raining Jane at or Good Match is available on CD through Raining Jane’s web store.

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