Close Up And Real

 

 

 

CLOSE UP AND REAL has been getting great reviews in the press and plenty of airplay on the radio too.

This response to Jane's music is totally genuine and has been achieved WITHOUT any marketing campaign, any advertising or any PR hype.

There's only one reason people buy her albums and that's because they like the music.

How many artists can say that these days?

 

 

"Every so often a writer appears that you just have to respond to. Jane is one of those people. She is an exceptional songwriting talent. Fans of Aimee Mann, Norah Jones, Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos , Bonnie Raitt and Dido will love this album."

 

If you would want to know more, see below or visit Janes website at:

www.janemusic.info

 

Or 

 

Email Jane at:

tomboymusicgroup@hotmail.com

Track Listing and MP3 Samples.

 Track Title

Mp3 link

1.

Never Mind It's Alright

2.

Come What May

3.

Borderline

4.

Alive

5.

One Voice

6.

Till The Next Time

7.

The Cauliflower Song (remix)

 
8.

We Are One

 
9.

Be My Star

 
10.

Red, Red, Raw

11.

There Is No Escape

12.

Breathe (it might be love)

 
13.

These Days

14. Carry Me
15. Cauliflower Song (orginal mix)
16. Keep The Faith
17.

You Are (my refuge and strength)

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING


"Jane has the kind of voice that would have garnered an invitation for a guest spot on a John Lee Hooker album, were the grand old man still around to be impressed. It's an 'adult' album then, and her impressively diverse vocal style lands most often in territory marked by the directness of Mel C (without the mannered sass) and the sugar of Joni Mitchell, wearing a careworn and lovelorn fatalism that infects even the cheeriest material. A singer-songwriter in the traditional vein, she's as clever with a couplet as Paul Simon, and as adept at hiding a barb behind a deceptively innocent delivery as Carole King 'Close Up And Real' is an entertaining and rewarding examination of the seedier margins of modern life."
By Gillian Nash - Logo Magazine January 2003

"The album is wonderfully structured and diverse in pace and mood; the sort of album that you listen to right through, time and time again. Jane will appeal to a more mature audience and I can envisage a time when she ventures over the big pond to play some important clubs in New York and elsewhere - so good is the music, the voice and this album. A contender for one of the records of 2003? You bet! Highly recommended."
Tony Porter ShakenStir Magazine February 2003

"Close Up and Real is a wonderful debut album from UK writer Jane which demonstrates her quite exceptional songwriting abilities and spans the first 10 years of her writing career. The tight, quirky backing vocals which have become her signature sound, are evident throughout most tracks and of course each song is complemented by the outstanding musicianship of the individual players."
Jazz CD's

Jane has an excellent voice and has written some good songs ("Come What May" and "These Days" are best of the bunch) (she) is backed by plenty of fine musicians. It's extremely poppy (even jazzy in places) ... It is without doubt eminently preferable to 99% of chart pap around these days.
Americana UK May 2002

The anonymously surname-less Jane is a 30-something English mum who gave up on the idea of pursuing a career in music years ago, in all probability because she isn't enough of a hard-nosed bitch to deal with the machinations of the filthiest industry known to man. And that's fair enough. Her authentic, heartfelt, middle-of-the-road new country was destined to remain closeted away from public consumption. That is until a friend uploaded some of Jane's tentative early recordings onto the net. Over the next few weeks emails requesting more information, and, more importantly, more songs, started rolling in. And so, slowly, almost ten years after she'd given it up, Jane's musical career began to take off. Good things do come to those who wait. So what's the music actually like, after all this kerfuffle to finally get it heard? ... solid and passionate...accomplished and tuneful to a degree that suggests a large audience is certainly within reach. Jane claims she's never seen herself as a singer, but rather a songwriter who always imagined other vocalists would perform her material. Considering this self-doubt it's a surprise to find that she's actually blessed with a surprisingly strong and wide-ranging voice. So much so that, on occasion (the chorus of Come What May in particular), she is actually guilty of melisma, that ululating vibrato-of-one-vowel-sound that US r'n'b singers (I'm aiming the rifle at you, Mariah) are so often guilty of. The important thing to realise is that this is not an album, per se, but rather a collection of songs culled from ten years of work, and as such it doesn't really fit together or flow as you might wish it to. Generally the newer songs are better than the older, which have been produced in such a way as to date them quickly. The remix of The Cauliflower song finds a simple but well-formed country song being driven by the kind of modernist production that has taken David Gray to massive success, and yet manages to stay well away from the head-shakingly awful territory of Shania Twain's nauseating dance-country-pop hybrid. Borderline is an understatedly sad affair brushed with elegiac strings and touches of gently soporific bass guitar. ...generally Jane's songs, especially the more recent ones, are of a brand of brazenly honest and nakedly emotional country, which at times sounds eerily born of Nashville for an English housewife.
...these are fine, well crafted songs. Nick Southall - Stylus magazine Feb 2003

More reviews at:  www.janemusic.info/rcms/news/getTopic/6


Close Up And Real also features some amazing musicians including:

Dave Bronze (Bass with Eric Clapton, Eric Bibb, Sting , Duane Eddy , Procol Harum , Gary Brooker, Be Sharp , Phil Collins ,Jeff Beck , Stuart Copeland , Bo Diddly , Roger Daltry, David Gilmore, Mike Rutherford , Stevie Winwood , Mickey Jupp , Paul Carrack, Belinda Carlisle , Brian Ferry, Tina Turner, George Harrison, Ray Davis)

Pianist and vocalist Reg Webb,(Lenny Kravitz, Robin Trower,Vanessa Paradise,Linda lewis The Outfield)

Backing vocalist Wendy Roberts,(Mike Oldfield)

Pianist and keyboard player Pete Jacobsen ,(Morrissey/Mullen, Pete King, Bobby Wellins, Don Weller, Barbara Thompson ,Level 42, Tim Whitehead,)

Guitarist Alan Christie,(played on Return of the Mack- Mark Morrison, The Arlenes)  www.arlenes.demon.co.uk/

 

HISTORY

 

Jane 
For years, Jane hoped to get a record deal. She wrote her own songs, ran her own band and sent her demo's to as many record companies as she could think of.

Despite her valiant efforts, she wasn't picked up by any major record companies and as a single parent with a young family , she abandoned her dreams and returned to university to study for a degree (a BSc in Applied psychology), in order for her to get a 'proper' job and support her children.

Fast forward a few years and she's now married and settled with child number three. She does the occasional gig and continues to write songs but any aspirations of 'making it' are far behind her.

Then her friend Ian hears her old songs and suggests she upload her old demo's which have been gathering dust for ages onto the Internet. They decide to make the songs available at www.mp3.com, an Internet based music website which specialises in hosting music by independent artists.

Using Jane's pseudonym of Rachael Blue , Ian uploads a handful of tracks.

Within weeks, Jane has received dozens of emails from all over the world from people who have heard the songs, asking if there is an album available. The trickle of emails quickly become a steady stream and soon she's had thousands of visitors to her site all eager to hear more material.

She is soon approached by several Internet based radio stations and within weeks her songs are being played to a global network of listeners. Currently, Jane's music is being broadcast on over 70 different radio networks world-wide.

Encouraged and amazed by the response, Jane starts recording and the interest grows. First the local press run a couple of stories, then local radio pick up on it and Jane is invited to be a guest. This appearance fuels even more curiosity about her and soon afterwards, she appears on national radio where within ten minutes of the show , she recieves a staggering 147 emails asking for details of her music.

Jane says: " I'm delighted and astonished by the response I've had. I'd long since given up any hope of doing anything with my music. Let's face it, I'm a thirty something mother of three, hardly 'rock star' material, yet it doesn't seem to matter. In the current climate of an image dominated music industry I never believed I would stand a chance, yet given the choice, people really don't seem to care that much about age, looks or status. They just like the songs and it's brilliant' it's exactly what music should be about."

 

REVIEWS

 

Bags of talent 
According to the sleeve the 16 tracks (plus a remix) on here are culled from 10 years of recordings representing Jane's 'early faltering steps into the world of music as well as my most recent work.'
I'm pleased that Jane kept on the journey because clearly the lass has bags of talent both as a songwriter and singer. There's a wide variety of styles here, haunting acoustic narrative songs ('Borderline'), country-tinged opuses ('One Voice'), while the resplendently named 'The Cauliflower Song' isn't as you might suspect from that title, a comedy cut, but a haunting groove (especially the remix) dealing with the dangers of entertaining thoughts about a fantasy lover. The fascinating selection ends with a haunting song of faith, 'You Are (My Refuge And Strength)'. Definitely a talent to watch, let's not have to wait 10 years for another album, Jane.

CrossRhythms

For some reason this CD takes me back in time. 
This is a polished CD and if you like contemporary pop you ought to give Jane a listen.
Perhaps subconsciously it reminds me of some song from the 80s that I can't place. Maybe it's that the cover photo reminds me of a Smith's CD cover. But when I hear it I feel like I'm in high school watching the early days of MTV (yes, I'm that old). Either way, I enjoy listening to it.

Jane's style is a mix of jazz and pop with a little country undertone. Her voice is strong and sweet. Her lyrics clever and her songs catchy.

There's a bit of a religious vibe to this CD which gives me a mild case of the willies, but I can over look that for the other great songs like "Come What May" and "Til the Next Time".

She has gathered some very talented musicians for this recording and they sound wonderful. This is a polished CD and if you like contemporary pop you ought to give Jane a listen.

Collected Sounds June 2003

Our Jane knows how to write a song. 
Oh Gosh. There can be only one Kirsty MacColl, rest her soul. But that doesn't mean other singer-songwriters can't stand in line at the audition. Here's Jane. She's a mother of three from Essex who has apparently dipped in and out of the spotlight as a performer since the mid-1980s. Let's give her a warm Jaguaro welcome.

When Jane (no last name, like Cher or Morrissey!) sings, she sure sounds like MacColl, which is never a bad thing. And our Jane knows how to write a song. But the 17 tracks on Close Up and Real are just too polished. Not antiseptic mind you, but any rough edges that would lend warmth and gristle to her music seem to have been rubbed off for the sake of making a professional-sounding record. Gimme grit any day.

'Borderline' has a pretty violin line, and 'Red, Red, Raw' shows off Jane's CSN-like multi-tracked harmonies real nice. The kickiest track is the God-centric and parenthesis-loving 'You Are (My refuge and strength).' (Eep!) But for the most part the CD spins away with folky adult-contemporary pop that spells trouble for my attention span.

Close Up feels like watching a lounge singer who, despite singing all originals, is expert at channeling fragments of numerous singing stars. From the abundant MacColl/McVie/Mitchell-isms (and Shania Twain if you count 'One Voice') of the songwriting, to the Tuesday Weld-meets-Stevie Nicks photos that decorate the sleeve (and her Website), Jane packs in more references than this already long sentence is able to manage. It's as distracting as it is impressive.

Not every musician can or should 'make it' in the industry. But in the age of information technology, nearly every artist can cast their work out into the violent sea of data and hope that people care enough to stop and listen, or better yet buy. After less than a month, more than 500 consumers purchased Close Up. Chances are some of them are washing dishes to it right now.

Kris Kendall Jaguaro.Org May 2003

"Fine, well crafted songs."
Nick Southall - Stylus magazine Feb 2003

"Jane has the kind of voice that would have garnered an invitation for a guest spot on a John Lee Hooker album, were the grand old man still around to be impressed. It’s an ‘adult’ album then, and her impressively diverse vocal style lands most often in territory marked by the directness of Mel C ...and the sugar of Joni Mitchell, wearing a careworn and lovelorn fatalism that infects even the cheeriest material. A singer-songwriter in the traditional vein, she’s as clever with a couplet as Paul Simon, and as adept at hiding a barb behind a deceptively innocent delivery as Carole King …‘Close Up And Real’ is an entertaining and rewarding examination of the seedier margins of modern life."
By Gillian Nash - Logo Magazine January 2003

"She has gathered some very talented musicians for this recording and they sound wonderful. This is a polished CD..."
Collected Sounds June 2003"

"... a talent who is well on her way to a successful and interesting career." - Dennis Halsey Best Female Musicians May 2003

"The album is wonderfully structured and diverse in pace and mood; the sort of album that you listen to right through, time and time again. Jane will appeal to a more mature audience and I can envisage a time when she ventures over the big pond to play some important clubs in New York and elsewhere - so good is the music, the voice and this album. A contender for one of the records of 2003? You bet! Highly recommended."
Tony Porter ShakenStir Magazine - February 2003

"Definitely a talent to watch"  - CrossRhythms May 2003

"...the progression and breadth of the album's content most ably demonstrates Jane's songwriting skills and the scope of her vocal capabilities. Her delivery is strong and polished, imbued with an occasional melodramatic flair, and her songs exhibit an admirable level of genuine honesty and heartfelt emotion, flavoured with tinges of theatrical pop, expressive folk and an unexpected dash of Nashville ... the album clearly establishes Jane's accomplished abilities as a vocalist and a songwriter.
Daniela Maestro - SplendidEzine May 2003

"Jane has an excellent voice ... without doubt eminently preferable to 99% of chart pap around these days."
AmericanaUK April 2003