I thought when “Banned In America” started that Jade would be creating something that was an Avril clone. Don’t get me wrong, the vocal style of Jade is still something that is pop-based, but the backing instrumentation is something that is much more heavy and rock-based. This puts Jade in the position of being another Amy lee. The vocal style gives me more of a Celine Dion feel, so the comparison is not absolutely correct but it is serviceable. The hard rock style starts to dissipate as the disc goes on. For example, by the time that “Throw Me A Line” comes up on the playlist, Jade is purely doing a pop style that in no way reflect the “Banned in America” mystique that ey could have been cultivating.
The pop style continues during “My Love is Black”. This is not to say that the music contained on “Banned in America” is bad, but there is not enough in the way of the metal sound strewn throughout the disc. Sure, there are hints of metal during the aforementioned “My Love is Black” but it seems more like a garnish than actually being something that Jade feels and works alongside with. “My Love is Black” can be changed by allowing Jade to really get into a Evanescence / Nightwish feel; this would make individuals into pop and metal alike find more that they like in Jade’s own style. Right now, it feels as if Jade is stuck in the middle of two styles, not really impressing in either one.
When Jade actually works along with the slightly harder rock of the instrumentation on “Banned in America”, the resulting track is something to behold. While it is not at the edge of experimentation , songs like “If I Catch My breath” provide individuals with something that rocks yet can be liked by a pop segment of society. The disc goes back and forth between solid tracks and those that might still need work; Jade is only human. The great thing about “Banned in America” is that it feels as if the producers have not removed the little bit of error from Jade’s voice. Where most pop acts would have all errors erased from their vocal tracks, some weakness and pensiveness are included alongside solid lyric lines. There are better pop and better rock acts out right now, but Jade is in the top twenty acts that blend both the styles.
Top Tracks: Victim of Love, Three Blind Mice
Jade – Banned In America / 2006 ARG / 11 Tracks / http://www.jademusic.com / Reviewed 06 August 2006