|Jain Wells - To Be Real|
Jain Wells – To Be Real (Choiceless Awareness Records)
Release Date: 26th November 2012
If I told you that Jain Wells was a Canadian Psychologist who cited Coldplay and Dido as two of her big influences I would be telling the truth but I would also be describing potentially the blandest person on the face of the planet. The trouble is, however ‘beige’ Ms Wells might be as a person, the songs she creates are far from mediocre. ‘To Be Real’ is the debut album by the London based singer-songwriter and it beautifully showcases her hauntingly wistful yet powerful voice through 12 finely crafted songs. Album opener and first single ‘The Colours Of My Heart’ is an uplifting and strangely reassuring song with a thundering horse gallop of a rhythm pushing forward the whimsical melody. There is the same ethereal quality that you would expect from Florence or Kate Bush running through this music but something feels unresolved and uneasy. ‘Out of Time’ is a child-like tune that would beautifully soundtrack a small girl discovering a secret fairy colony at the bottom of the garden and getting caught up in a fantastical world of magical delights. In fact, every song on this album has an innocence running through the music regardless of the lyrical content. ‘Being and Time’ is a fine example of this as the positively inspirational tune belies the slightly cryptic lyrical content that hints at struggle and heartbreak.
Wells has the ability to invoke a number of talented female songwriters and on ‘Holiday’ she takes on the forlorn resignation of Tori Amos superbly. ‘Out Of The Fog’ sees the Canadian sail fairly close to Shania Twain’s poppier territories but admittedly with more bite and snarl in the chorus. However, on ‘Look in the Mirror’ the mood turns to more sassy, savvy pop that you could expect Girls Aloud or the next X-Factor winners singing with all the sophistication of a 13 year old girl spending her Saturday afternoon browsing in Primark and giggling at boys. And herein lies my one problem with this album – Jain Wells has created some excellent songs but I don’t get the feeling that she’s performing them with any great passion or urgency. It would seem ideal in many ways that some publishing company pick this album and split the album out amongst the next wave of semi-capable singers who couldn’t write a melody if the future of mankind depended on it. There is room on almost every song for the performance to be turned up an extra notch, for the passion to be increased and for the restraints to be cut away from Jain Wells. Of course, to most musicians, suggesting that you give away your songs for the mere reward of cash is nothing short of sacrilege so I won’t go down that road. What I would do though, is suggest that any budding singers out there who want to add the ‘-songwriter’ bit to their title should get hold of a copy of this album and study it hard. And if you’re a great singer then why not team up with Jain because, let’s face it, we haven’t really had a great Pop duo since Alisha’s Attic – that Daphne and Celeste were a real let down. Jain Wells is a talent, there’s no denying that, but like a footballer being played in the wrong position, I’m not entirely convinced that she’s getting the most out of her talent just yet. Maybe try the left wing for a while, Jain.
More Information: http://jainwells.com/