Monday, November 14, 2011

A Gift of Song – from Jennifer Haase

It was as if the music demanded my attention, first subtly and then more overtly. I stopped the game I was playing and listened…

The music to which I am referring is the newest CD from “indie” singer/songwriter Jennifer Haase, “No More Invitations.” I started playing it late one night, when I should have been going to sleep. But, sleep was proving to be elusive, so I started playing mahjong online and put the CD that I had just gotten in the mail on as background. However, it wouldn’t stay in the background. Together the music, the lyrics and the compelling voice came together for a wonderful distraction. At the last note of the final song, I found that I did not want it to end. So I played the whole CD again.

I have never been a casual listener of music. While I can appreciate a nice tune with nonsensical lyrics, I love a song that truly says something. When the words reveal a deeper meaning and are layered just so between the notes, I am transported much in the same way as when I read a good book.

At first listen, I did not find a weak song on the entire CD. Jennifer Haase’s voice and the deliberate way she sings show a maturity from her first CD, “Listening Chair.” Each song seemed to evoke an emotion that we all can relate to in our own way. From the sad and mournful “Oneonta” to the tastefully, seductive love songs: “Beautiful Man” and “As the Record Spins,” Haase delivers a universal message that we all can relate to and it becomes our own.

I should also note that “Oneonta” contains a special treat featuring background vocals from Rosanne Cash. Although I hesitate to compare Haase’s music to any particular singer, I do hear the influence of Rosanne Cash in the lyrics and the ability to create a mood as a poet would, using only words. Without the music, the words could and do stand alone.

However, when done right, the music can take the words to a completely different level. I found this effect most strongly in the song, “All Out of Try.” The music represents a mask, a “la la la” everything is ok on the surface attitude. But, the words reveal a life kept secret from others, particularly in the chorus.

“I’m sorry, it’s your party

But both of us will shatter

If I am why you start to cry

And although I can’t be your candy

I’ll sugarcoat my story

And repress the reasons why

Because I’m all out of try”

All Out of Try by Jennifer Haase by JenniferHaaseMusic

Writing a review of a CD is not something I would normally do. It is in fact only the second review of any kind that I have done in the 6 years I have been writing online. The first was for an indie writer. I did it because I have tremendous respect for those who are gifted with talent and the determination to develop it, those who have the courage to follow their passion. Jennifer Haase is an example for all of us who still believe in the possibility of our dreams. But, talent alone is not enough. As an independent musician, Jennifer Haase is doing it alone, without the benefit of a record company to help promote and market her music. When I received the CD it arrived in a simple package, the address labels handwritten by Haase herself. I teased her on Twitter telling her I was going to keep the package so that someday I could say, “I knew her when…”

I am known by my friends and family as someone who shares music that I love, and I do love this particular CD. But, instead of burning CD’s to share, I am purchasing copies to give as gifts. It is my way of supporting the dreams and talent of a truly special singer who is also becoming a great online friend.

It is at times like this where I wish this blog were more well-read. It is new and mainly a personal one, read mostly by friends. So I asking my friends who do read it to help me support Jennifer Haase by buying the CD and hey, tell your friends about it. If I have not convinced you in this post, you can check out the music yourself on her website, Rhymes with Classy or at her artist’s page on Reverbnation ,where you can also hear songs from her first CD and custom songs written for special occasions, (another great gift idea!).

I will admit to a little selfishness here, I want to hear more! I am hoping someday to be enjoying a 3rd CD from Jennifer. That doesn’t happen unless she can promote and sell her current CD. So I am asking you all, my friends, to do what you can to help a new friend of mine. Maybe also consider looking at other independent writers and musicians to support. In doing so, you can keep many dreams alive.

1 comment:

  1. Great review Mary and a wonderful artist. I am listening as I type this comment. She is lucky to have you as a supporter. Excellent post!! Thank you so much for sharing.