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Jenifer Jackson | Birds (Parasol)
Arriving as unexpectedly as an unseasonably warm, sunny day, Jenifer Jackson's Birds could be the soundtrack to how I'd like every day to be. The album encompasses several styles, woven together seamlessly including 60s pop, jazz, country and folk. With superb support from some of the best musicians that non-mainstream Nashville has to offer; such as Brad Jones (who also produced the album), Will Kimbrough and Josh Rouse (who contributes backing vocals), Jenifer Jackson's enchanting voice, sounding at times like a more whispered Mary Lou Lord, is allowed to gently glide and soar before eventually drawing you under its spell. Jones' production adds subtlety and space to proceedings allowing the diverse instrumentation and deceptively simple arrangements to make a lasting impression. From the vibes used on opener The Fade via the eastern mantra meets Nancy Sinatra kitsch pop of Mercury, The Sun And Moon to the pedal steel infused twang of What You Said and all points in between Birds is the kind of album that helps the woes of the world to melt away. Dreamy and comforting like a lazy, hazy summer afternoon, for its all too brief 45 minutes, Birds makes the world seem a much better place.

Geraint Jones
CWAS #8 - Summer 2001