Jane Monheit has not been around the music industry for too terribly long. Ey is only 29 at the moment, so what holds true for the music on “Surrender” may not be what is true in 2027 or 2047. Fact is, there is a lot of time for Monheit to grow and expand eir repertoire. However, for individuals trying to decide whether this album is worth the purchase price, a few words should be said. There is no doubt in anyone that listens in’s mind that the music being produced by Monheit and eir band is crafted for the current era, but the influences that are present in shaping the vocals of Monheit during a track like “If You Went Away” or the title track show something much older and much more nuanced than merely being linked to the current period.
While it is not entirely fair to compare this album of tracks with the more seasonal “The Season”, one can hear the expansion and evolution of the vocal stylings of Monheit easily. This is eir seventh album; I must admit that I am not familiar with all of Monheit’s music, but there seems to be more in the way of cohesion between the tracks of “Surrender” than there was on any prior Monheit album. This album features a few covers to it, one that many individuals will know in “Moon River”, and one that individuals will not be all that familiar with (“So Many Stars”, originally by Sergio Mendes). This allows individuals to hear exactly what Monheit’s mindset is in the creation of music, as there are two baselines with which to compare Monheit’s efforts to. Other covers, such as Monheit’s version of the Stevie Wonder track “Overjoyed”, further show Monheit’s skill compared to a base line. As was previously mentioned, this is Monheit’s 7th album, and it shows marked improvement over the last few efforts. There is little to be changed with this album with the exception of possibly having more in the way of original tracks.
If this can happen, I would know an album that I could get behind for an extended length of time. For fans of strong vocal efforts and thoughtful arrangements, listeners should “Surrender” to Monheit’s latest album. It may not be without its’ flaws, but there is enough in the way of strong efforts and even more strong vocals to keep individuals interested in what Monheit has to say.
Top Tracks: Overjoyed, Like A Lover
Rating: 6.0/10 [JMcQ]
Jane Monheit – Surrender / 2007 Concord / 10 Tracks / http://www.janemonheitmusic.com / http://www.concordmusicgroup.com / Reviewed 31 May 2007