318833

Whiteley, Jenny - Forgive Or Forget

Format: CD
Label: Black Hen Music
Year: 2010
Origin: Toronto, Ontario - Elkins, Ontario
Genre: folk, roots
Keyword: 
Value of Original Title: 
Make Inquiry/purchase: email ryder@robertwilliston.com
Release Type: Albums
Websites:  No
Playlist: 2010's, Canadian Folk, Ontario

Tracks

Track Name
Raining in My Heart
There Was Love
Day Without Words
Final Season
Truth and the Eyes of the Dead
Ripple Effect
Kind Mirror
Cold, Cold Kisses
Slack
Half Life

Photos

318833

Forgive Or Forget

Videos

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Information/Write-up

Vancouver's Black Hen label is home to a stable of rootsy singer/songwriters who tend, on the surface, toward the unassuming, but whose albums reveal treasures on repeated listens. Jenny Whiteley, former vocalist of the bluegrass group Heartbreak Hill, is a prime example of this understated aesthetic. On her fourth solo album, the Juno Award-winning songwriter offers ten likable and engaging country-tinged folk-rock tunes that inspect all aspects of romantic love, delivered in a confident voice with excellent backing from a band that includes drummer John Raham (Kinnie Starr/Be Good Tanyas).

Black Hen head honcho Steve Dawson provides a variety of tasteful (and tasty) guitar textures throughout, and also produced the album, doing a great job of showcasing Whiteley's songs with just enough gloss to make them pop, but not so much that the subtle melodies and smart lyrics get outglittered. The CD is front-loaded with slower-burning numbers, but takes off midway with the powerful minor-key waltz "Truth and the Eyes of the Dead," followed by the tart and spunky "Ripple Effect." Whiteley exercises her pure country chops on "Cold, Cold Kisses," on which she breaks out a sultry vocal, supported by spine-tingling harmonies and poignant pedal steel. The poppy "Slack" -- featuring the catchiest melody of the bunch -- comes alive with a jaunty Wurlitzer hook courtesy of Chris Gestrin (Night Crawlers, Randy Bachman) and the album ends on a high note with the ultra-tuneful "Half Life."
-Paula Carino

On her fourth solo album, the Juno Award-winning songwriter offers ten likable and engaging country-tinged folk-rock tunes that inspect all aspects of romantic love, delivered in a confident voice with excellent backing from a band that includes drummer John Raham (Kinnie Starr/Be Good Tanyas). Black Hen head honcho Steve Dawson provides a variety of tasteful (and tasty) guitar textures throughout, and also produced the album, doing a great job of showcasing Whiteley's songs with just enough gloss to make them pop, but not so much that the subtle melodies and smart lyrics get outglittered. The CD is front-loaded with slower-burning numbers, but takes off midway with the powerful minor-key waltz "Truth and the Eyes of the Dead," followed by the tart and spunky "Ripple Effect." Whiteley exercises her pure country chops on "Cold, Cold Kisses," on which she breaks out a sultry vocal, supported by spine-tingling harmonies and poignant pedal steel. The poppy "Slack" -- featuring the catchiest melody of the bunch -- comes alive with a jaunty Wurlitzer hook courtesy of Chris Gestrin (Night Crawlers, Randy Bachman) and the album ends on a high note with the ultra-tuneful "Half Life."
-All Music Guide

Simple melodies can be the easiest to sing, but the hardest to sing well. It's up to the vocalist to make a simple song interesting with the right presentation. Folk melodies have acres of wiggle room for interpretation. Whiteley brings her songs to life with deliberate, artful phrasing. Everything about the record screams 'attention to detail.' The lyrics are satisfying, poetic stories told with clever rhymes (essential for good folk or country music). They're poignant but not at all sappy like the country schmaltz that fills airwaves. The songs are well-written and a few of them are real gems like “Half Life.” Producer Steve Dawson makes mince meat of all the run-of-the-mill country music out these days. The adventurous array of organs, synths, and unexpected guitar sounds boosts the album to darkly – tinted sonic excellence. It sounds fresh and interesting, and reminds me of Wilco's awesome mixes.
-Musik Reviews

Audio Mixer: Steve Dawson.

Recording information: Found Sound, Toronto, ON; The Factory Studios, Vancouver, BC; The Henhouse, Vancouver, BC.

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