Jennel Garcia – Life Starts Now 
Jennel Garcia - Life Starts Now

Release Date: Out Now

In the UK, those that don’t make it in to the final of the X Factor either tend to join the back of the queue to audition again for the next season or go on endless tours of coffee shops desperately trying to get a song on to national radio rotation or used on an advert. Jennel Garcia, it seems, has had a ‘Disney’s version of punk’ make over and decided to release and EP which intrigues me because and EP is usually what artists release when they can’t afford the studio time for an album but have more than one good song so a single seems like a waste. Shall we explore? Let’s.

The first of the six tracks on this collection is ‘Don’t Break My Heart Again’ is a poppy, guitar driven piece of breeziness that would fit straight in to an episode of any one of the teen shows on Nickleodeon. ‘Hate To Love You’ is equally pumped up and plays the quiet-loud-quiet-loud card particularly well picking up the baton where Demi Lovato and Avril Lavigne left off when they decided to go all ‘mature. The riff on ‘The Only One’ is prime Blink 182 fodder and that takes a confident vocal performance to carry off which Garcia manages with ease. Switching between poppy sweetness and emo-punk aggression, Garcia has the kind of voice that, if she was singing on top of heavier, more distorted guitars in band called something like Even After All, would see her gracing the pages of Kerrang! on a regular basis.

EP title track ‘Life Starts Now’ is easily the standout track here with its Cyndi Lauper 80s power pop vibe and grrl power spirit just ripe for plenty of pogoing and lip curling at the end of a coming of age film. On ‘If You Only Knew’ Garcia opts for the piano ballad approach and it’s a useful tool for showing off another, more tender side of her voice but the song isn’t particularly strong and sounds like a Christina Aguilera album filler at best. Now, final track ‘Looks Like You Missed Out’ shows the direction that I think Jennel Garcia should be taking. Aggressive, assertive and in your face with blistering drums and razor sharp guitars giving the power needed to match that voice as Garcia veers in to alt-pop-emo territory with aplomb. Now, ironically this is the only song on this collection that Garcia had no part in writing so there’s some thinking and soul searching to do. Does she want to stretch herself and follow in the footsteps of the likes of Pink with an edgier career or settle for the safer shores of a middle of the road pop career. I know which way I’d turn.