All it takes is 3 chords and a dream!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

CD Review: Jenn Friedman - Open Book

Jenn Friedman - Open Book

2008, Jennifer Friedman

New York City native Jenn Friedman walks the path that starts where Tori Amos and Maren Ord meet in the road. Rich piano-based story songs and Friedman's gorgeous, reserved alto voice paint musical tableaux that are as visually entrancing as they are sonically moving. Open Book also thrives on intensely personal and intelligent lyrics to complement the musical stories that spring from Friedman's fingers. Mourn is a prime example of the songwriting acumen here, and could stand up as a cherished song in Friedman's catalog across numerous albums and years. Alibi is beautifully orchestrated and captures some of the coloratura of Friedman's wonderfully textured voice.

Be sure to check out Wayward Child, a beautiful ballad about the interminable draw of a bad boy to a good girl. The melody here is gorgeous and the harmonies divine. The lyrical progression is full of imagery as lush as piano and strings that lay beneath. Thomas is also very much worth a listen. Thomas has already risen to #3 on the Overplay UK charts and has strong commercial potential elsewhere.

Jenn Friedman sneaks up on you. She's neither flashy nor trashy, and doesn't represent the pop tart imagery of many young singer-songwriters. She lulls you in with lushly Spartan arrangements and a quiet alto. Once you settle in and really start to listen you are struck by the quiet conviction and gorgeous shading in that voice, and as Friedman's lyric story-songs roll over your conscious mind you are filled with the sense of wonder a great musical or movie experience always brings. Open Book is like dreaming awake, and Friedman is the conductor on a magical tour. Make sure this is one Open Book you read deeply.

Rating: 4.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Jenn Friedman at You can purchase a copy of Open Book at

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