From the Basement: Liz Janes
From The Basement #37
Liz Janes/Done Gone Fire
Her debut, Done Gone Fire, is Liz Janes tribute to jazz, blues, and good old gospel. These songs are, however, in no way arranged by the book. Instead, they contain unconventional, creative arrangements, both vocally and instrumentally. While her sophomore album, Poison & Snakes, is an amazing release, Done Gone Fire tops it in so many ways. Next to her eccentric compositions, her vocals blend in with a much stronger impact than on Poison & Snakes.
Her voice is deep, husky, and absolutely entrancing. Track four, Proposition, is a vocal triumph for Janes, whose voice is best when it's at it's most expressive. Track five is a hypnotic blues song that gets her a little riled up and a little sullen all at the same time. I love it when false starts make their way onto a record and there's a second of one and a little giggle on the song Monkey Song. Here she daringly borrows the line "You don't own me, I'm not just one of your little toys" from The Blow Monkeys. My favorite vocal moment on the album, though, happens to be on the title track, Done Gone Fire, when she raises her voice to sing, "In your arms…I was a star."
But probably one of the most impressive moments comes during the song Tristeza. The song itself sounds like something Danny Elfman would have composed for Edward Scissorhands. It's very reminiscent of the theme song played when Wynona Ryder is twirling around in Edward's handmade snow; a little dark and eerie but utterly romantic and dreamy.
Overall it's a surprisingly dark album and one that can easily elicit goose bumps up a listeners arm, back of neck, or calf (or wherever you may be prone to them). It's absolutely gorgeous, but you have to be in a place where you can play it loud just so that you can be sure to catch all the little nuances in her voice, every guitar scratch, and every deep bass line.
- Steph Haselman | 2004-10-21
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