Janeska – The Objective (CD)

Janeska sings in a style that has manifested itself through much of dance culture, outwardly sounding like Jennifer Lopez and Gwen Stefani. To couch tracks like “On Your Knees” as anything besides feel-good music would be mis-contextualize Janeska. While “Moonlight” uses a much slower tempo for its backing beat, the same pop-pandering style is put forth by Janeska. Here might be a hint of techno present in the track, but this is a result of the arrangement rather than anything that Janeska is doing. There is still enough pop in eir voice to really distinguish eir from genre deities like Bjork; this is simply a more experimental Gwen Stefani track, with arrangements done by Josh Wink.

“The Objective” has its fair share of pseudo-Middle Eastern sounds backing up Janeska’s vocals, but there is little else to really make listeners want to stand up and dance. What really sinks Janeska during this track is a lack of appreciable hooks; the track’s episodic nature has quite an opposite effect from uniting the rest of the album, but tends to force listeners into switching songs. Even a scaled repetition of a lyric is placed much too late to really salvage this track; perhaps if the track was scrapped completely (excluding the final minute), Janeska could succeed here. Where Janeska really succeeds is when one uses eir music as something to chill out to; later tracks like “Butterfly Kisses” has the same down-tempo sound that Nelly Furtado’s last album had.

Even when Janeska tries to recall the funk-dance combination of bands like Cassius and Daft Punk for eir “What The Heart Wants”, there seems to be a lack of explosiveness that would act like a cherry on top of a sundae. Janeska’s music on “The Objective” is perfectly serviceable dance and techno-ism music, but it is really lacking that something special to really make the album memorable. The inclusion of remix tracks on this album gives individuals a second (and third glance) into some of the tracks that Janeska decided were important enough to hear again. The major problem could really be a lack of vision by the producer of the album tracks; later mixes like Linus’ re-tooling of “Moonlight” provides an urgency that simply was not present previously on the disc. There is some talent here, but the aforementioned lack of vision means that the tracks on “The Objective” largely do not achieve what they could.

Top Tracks: Moonlight (Linus Remix), Butterfly Kisses

Rating: 3.4/10

Janeska – The Objective / 2005 Tajber / 10 Tracks / http://www.janeska.com / info@janeska.com / Reviewed 12 November 2005

[JMcQ]

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