REVIVAL - JENN BOSTIC
LCM ALBUM OF THE WEEK
- Artist: Jenn Bostic
- Release Date: 4th May, 2018
- Genre: Americana, Folk, Rock, Pop, Gospel
- Record Label: Absolute
- Tracks: 12
- Website: http://jennbostic.com/
- Review By: Gary Smith (LCM)
One of my favourite US singer-songwriters is the very talented Jenn Bostic, so it's always very exciting when Jenn releases new music. Her latest album 'Revival' is a superb collection of highly crafted and arranged songs. A perfect blend of blues, soul, country, pop and gospel. Written over the last two years, 'Revival' is the eagerly awaited follow up to Jenn’s 2015 critically acclaimed 'Faithful' album.
"It's the album my heart has been longing to make,” says Nashville based Jenn. “I grew up listening to the bluesy, soulful sounds of Bonnie Raitt and have fallen in love with Tedeschi Trucks. When I went into House of Blues Studio in Nashville to record this album I knew exactly what I wanted for the first time in my career.”
The result is an honest, soulful and very empowering collection of music about being positive and overcoming any obstacle that life may throw at you. “I’ve gone through a decade of artist development and I’m incredibly grateful for that time of growth and experimenting with different sounds, styles and producers,” says Jenn. “With 'Revival' we had all the musicians in a large studio, at the same time, capturing a moment. It’s my favorite way to make music.”
Recorded at House of Blues Studios in Nashville, Tennessee and produced by six-time Grammy award winner, Paul Salveson, 'Revival' is Jenn’s 4th studio album. It follows an very impressive career, which has included an appearance on BBC Breakfast in 2012, performing her breakthrough single 'Jealous of the Angels'. Written for her late father, the song was championed by both Smooth Radio and BBC Radio 2 and hit Number 1 on the singer songwriter chart, with now over 3 million views on YouTube.
Highlights of the album include the rocky blues opener 'Wrong Thing' about trusting your heart. Living life to the full and seizing the moment without regret. "I'm so afraid of doing the wrong thing.....I never get it right.......We can only regret the things......that we don't try"
Next up is the very powerful gospel infused 'Haunting Me', themed about a broken relationship and unforgettable memory that you just don’t want to remember. Always a live crowd favourite (complete with hand gestures) and one of the album's catchy standouts is the infectious 'Hollywood' about 'chasing the dream' while 'keeping it real'. Jenn is such a talented songwriter and coupled with super smooth vocals it make for a very intoxicating combination. The contemplative and reflective tale of lost love 'Lonely' with it's blues melodies and vocal slides, is just so beautiful and classy. It follows on from some of themes explored on 'Hauting Me'. The rock infused 'Foilow Your Own Star' showcases Jenn’s positivity. “If I’m going to be putting a message out into the world I want it to be one of hope, love and positivity” says Jenn. “We see life through the lenses with which choose to look at it. I choose joy.”
One of my favourite tracks is the deeply personal, honest and soul-searching 'Faint Of Heart'. A song that any travelling independent musician can deeply relate to. A song of hardship, sacrifices, struggling to be creative and chasing your dreams. It's also a personal favourite of Jenn’s. “It shares my story in the most vulnerable way. When you’re chasing a dream, doubt is inevitable, but if you believe you’re chasing your purpose, then it doesn’t matter how many times you circle the mountain, you have to keep circling.”
We head back to the subject of lost relationships with the beautiful and heartfelt 'Love You'. 'It won't change with the seasons.....even broken hearts heal". 'Revival' has such a beautiful balance of styles and moods. We move into slightly more positive territory with the empowering 'Before It Gets Better'. The life affirming 'Gotta Be You' is an pop anthem for individuality. "Let your soul shine through.......you have just gonna be you!" The need for more powerful guidance and inner strength is explored in 'Lamp'. "Nothing is gonna stop me now...I will never let this lamp burn out!". All the very best things are worth working very hard for and you certainly appreciate them much more are the central themes for 'Too Easy'. "It's sweeter.......when it doesn't come too easy"
The album finishes with a flourish with the first single and title track 'Revival'. A powerhouse rocky gospel number with a choir adding lots of extra punch to Jenn's already excellent vocals. It's certainly a infectious toe-tapper channeling the power of positive thinking. Marvellous.
'Revival' is a very special, highly crafted and classy album from Jenn and one of my personal favourite releases so far this year. It not only showcases her huge talent and wonderful vocals but also her positive and forward thinking outlook. It shows Jenn's vulnerable side coupled with a deep level of honesty, the sharing of personal challenges and soul-searching.