Monday, February 15, 2010

Music I've Listened To: "Break It Up," by Jemina Pearl

The lead singer of Be Your Own Pet fails to do anything incredibly impressive with her full-length solo album, but that's not to say that there's nothing going on in these tracks. Pearl's still got all the swagger and swarthy attitude that she showed fans as part of Be Your Own Pet, and she gets to stretch her vocal talents a bit more here to go beyond just wailing, screaming, and sing-song choruses. Still, perhaps it's that vocal room which helps as well as hurts most of the tracks. Gone are the manic, fist pumping instrumentals of BYOP where Pearl's voice feels truly at home in favor of a much more polished and more structured take. While that punky, gritty attitude is still present overall, it doesn't feel as genuine as it does on a BYOP record. Still, Pearl doesn't forget who she is and still gives us the vim and vigor of a young woman with plenty to say on tracks like "So Sick!" and "Looking for Trouble." The mellower moments like "Nashville Shores" and the ballad-ish moments like the moody "D is for Danger" are a nice change of pace for Pearl and show a desire to grow, but they fall flat in most cases. Jemina Pearl is still a formidable talent--and her predecessors in the scene seem to think so, too. Iggy Pop lends his production skills to the album on the whole and his vocals to the track "I Hate People," and Thurston Moore (yup) helped Pearl out on the unreleased (but not un-downloadable) cover of The Ramones' "Sheena is a Punk Rocker." With impressive letters of reccomendation like that, Jemina Pearl is someone to watch for. This album just feels like a brief misstep on a career that will more than likely skyrocket.

Go Download: "I Hate People," "So Sick!"

3/5 starxx

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