Posted on: June 24, 2007 Posted by: James McQuiston Comments: 0

Jessica Penrose – Words Become Flesh / 2007 Self / 9 Tracks / / Reviewed 24 June 2007

This sophomore release by Jessica Penrose starts off with police sirens, moving into a strong piano line shortly after. The piano line bolsters the vocals on the track, which are reminiscent of a Tori Amos of an Alanis Morrisette. Unlike these two artists, however, Penrose adds a little bit of electronic influence to the fold. The sequenced drums during this opening track place Penrose on a path that is completely eir own. On this new path, Penrose is able to give listeners something qualitatively different to appreciate. This different sound is furthered by the familiar yet distinct sound of Penrose’s voice, which is able to draw influence from female artists in the field but adds Penrose’s soul to the mix. Where “I Am” was a quicker, memorable track on its’ own, the title track to “Words Become Flesh” is slower and much more soulful. Penrose’s output on these two tracks is at diametrically-opposed poles in regards to tempo and overall sound. The decision to put two different songs so close together is a smart one for Penrose, as it is another lure for fans to bite on, should they not completely be behind Penrose at the conclusion of “I Am”.

“Falling Asleep” links together both “I Am” and “Words Become Flesh” in that the tempo and feeling of the track exist in a middle ground between the aforementioned tracks. “Falling Asleep” has a better chance to break it big, as it uses the strongest elements from the previous two tracks. Of particular interest during this track has to be the bass line, which will undoubtedly remind listeners of a mesh of Eagles and Rush bass lines. While “Falling Asleep” uses a combination of various sounds and styles previously present on “Words Become Flesh”, “Learn To Live” creates threads leading back to earlier tracks on the disc. This is most audibly heard in the simple, cutting piano lines that act as the backdrop for the track, in what seems to be a homage to the first track on the disc.

“Freebird” shows a different side for Penrose. The piano and all percussive instruments united to make exclamation points to Penrose’s vocals on this track. Penrose’s vocals create a chorus that is extremely catchy. If Penrose wants to receive radio play, chances would be best if ey included a note with each copy of “Words Become Flesh” to listen to this magnum opus, this “Freebird”. Pick this album up if you want to hear a re-envisioning of what being a strong singer in the pop domain sounds like.

Top Tracks: Freebird, Words Become Flesh

Rating: 7.0/10

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