Jem Finally Woken ATO Records 82876-65568-2
From the very first note of the opening track and single release ‘They’ this album has hit written all over it - smacking you in the face with its imperative message, which is “Get up and dance!” I’ve said before the thing impressing me most of all in the current music scene is the rise and rise of the female voice. Jem’s is superb - soulful, sweet and sexy - to say the least. The sign of a great album is that every track is a goodie and this one is definitely a case of ‘All Killer, No Filler.’ How can I describe it – well it’s modern R’n’B with lots of twists. These include the Swingle Singers type backing in ‘They’ and other tracks, the use of flamenco, jazz and reggae rhythms, buzzy guitars, soaring romantic strings or heavy orchestration, applied effortlessly in the most appropriate places. One wants to rock out, get down, shimmy and smooch in equal proportions as one’s mood undergoes a roller-coaster of emotions as one song changes to another. I’m certain this album will spawn a non-stop string of top five singles rather like Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ and ‘Bad’ did all those years ago. It’s the closest thing to faultless (to paraphrase Katie Melua) I’ve come across for many a long night. Buy it, put it on your player and experience the aural orgasm Jem offers you on a platter.