Another famous female vocalist once asked "Where Does The Time Go?" and proceeded to make that her signature tune. As I sit here listening to the third Jess Vincent album, I find myself pondering on time and how it relates to music. "Shine" is an album that will last a lifetime and feel like it's ended too soon. I'm sure history will judge the first part of that statement more than me, but like all good albums this feels too short despite delivering twelve tracks.
"Shine" sees Jess Vincent rising in stature as both a writer and performer of songs I get the feeling that she's been prepared to take more risks with this album having really laid the ground rock and foundations with "Time Frame" and "See Saw Dreams" respectively. There seems more of an edge to the album, one that lacerates and grazes rather than clinical cuts which heal too easily and barely leave a scar.
She's joined in her endeavours by regular cohort Reg Meuross, who also produced the album and amongst others Beth Porter, who adds some absolutely wonderful touches via her cello, an instrument that appears to be enjoying a much deserved renaissance. It really helps give the album a touch more body than previous cuts and a warmer sound.
If there is one thing the internet generation has done for music it has been to liberate songs. Albums no longer have to belong to a genre, particularly if they don't have a shared narrative, individual songs can take what they need to be at their best, drawing on folk, pop, americana and occasionally jazz in the case of Jess Vincent. There's no context to take the songs out of on "Shine" so they have to stand on their own, and stand they do. It's an album that delivers a songbook and does so with some style.
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