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JessieJamesCross the “take no prisoners” attitude of Alanis Morrissette, with the unapologetic “girrrl power” of Tori Amos, and the vocal acrobatic belting of Christina Aguilera, and you have Jessie James, the newest diva-in-training to hit the pop music scene.

James made a splash earlier this summer on the Confessions of a Shopaholic soundtrack with her song her song Blue Jeans, a funky, sensual ode to that tried and true staple of American apparel. On her self-titled debut, she includes this slinky tune with eleven others that collectively manages to pack a punch for sheer exuberance, passion, and energy.

Following closely in the steps of her afore-mentioned, more seasoned peers, James, pulls no punches in expressing herself and “gettin’ hers,” whether its spelling out exactly what she wants in her man, as in the song My Cowboy: “You better tell me that I’m pretty if you wanna be my cowboy… ain’t got time for no players… or heartbreakers,” or what she’ll do to be loved if her lover should be foolish enough to neglect her, as in the song Guilty , where she takes solace in a passionate affair: “I feel everything but guilty.“ In the uncompromising song Big Mouth, James declares “If you want a piece of my heart, you’ll get a piece of my mind.” In Psycho Girlfriend, James comes very close to the obsessiveness of Morissette’s “You Oughta Know,” although delivered in a less maniacal, more laid back manner.

James proves here that she has the vocal chops to compete very well with pop music’s current reigning divas. With a CD filled with larger-than-life hooks and just enough of a touch of country twang via a really cool banjo and some acoustic guitar, she’s successfully chosen the perfect pallet on which she can truly let loose and sing to us with everything she’s got.


GlorianaThis good looking neo-country quartet of two guys (Tom and Mike Gossin) and two girls (Rachel Reiner and Cheyenne Kimball) makes its debut with a high energy, smoothly produced collection of tunes sure to please the ear of those with a penchant for super sweet harmonies sung over big, catchy hooks sung by a group that’s very easy on the eyes.


Fleetwood Mac’s influence is pretty obvious (to positive effect) on the songs How Far Do You Wanna Go (which borrows the beat of Go Your Own Way), If You’re Leaving, and Even If I Wanted To. They truly sound like they had so much fun recording this CD making even the sadder songs, such as Lead Me On, about asking a lover to create an illusion to cover a relationships shortcomings, and Cry On Command, about a relationships end, sound like downright positive experiences, as if the pending heartbreak won’t be half as bad as it could be as long as its accompanied by these deliciously satisfying melodies, designed to sooth away all inner pain.

You Said is a funky, tough-sounding honky-tonk and the songs All Things That Mean The Most and Change Your Mind stand out particularly for their uplifting musical arrangements and choice of almost ethereal harmonies. Kudos to producer Matt Serletic for assembling all the songwriters, musicians, engineers, editors, and mixers in order to create a commercially viable, sonically bright tapestry upon which these ready-for-their-close-up new-country newbies can shine.