A Review of the CD
"Bring It On"
by Jenn Lindsay

"Bring It On"
by Jenn Lindsay

Copyright 2001
No Evil Star Records
P.O. Box 19881
San Diego, CA 92159

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 11/01
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Categorization and labeling, however mindfully attempted, generally falls short in truly capturing the scope of a performer or artist's work. Having written such, let's call Jenn Lindsay a folk performer melded out of her generation, the 20-somethings.

Her music is edgy introspection, steeped in strength, anger, intelligence and understanding, backed by a strong and engaging voice. At times melodic but very much more free form with a fluid, almost jazz-like delivery, Lindsay plies her trade with a sound that brings to mind both early Joni Mitchell and Ani DiFranco on her less frenetic cuts.

With minimal instrumentation, this release is primarily Lindsay, her guitar, voice and words. It is the words that are most affecting. She immediately demonstrates as such, singing of youthful traits of immediacy and openness in "Things I Clutch," her opening cut:

"...And you say I should learn how to stay still
Learn to want my life and feel it burn in me and swell
Well I think you should let the wind in, watch it rush in fast
And everything is brighter when it knows it cannot last

And if I'll be the wind I'll learn to move along
And people must be something more than things I want
People step in slowly, they're slow to say too much
And people love at arm's length; I love the things I clutch"

In "Often Very Small," she presents one detrimental outcome of such a philosophy:
"...Life's more than the body lugging its weight from room to room
And more than crouching down and licking all my wounds
And more than snatching at shadows every time anyone cares
And more than saying I'm smiling when my teeth are clearly bared..."
She concludes this cut with:
"...My skin remembers heat from your ragged hands
And hates that being close isn't being in command
And hates that looking back doesn't mean I understand..."
The raw pain still emanating from a relationship's ending is viscerally contrasted with new love beginning in the opening verse of "All Around The Rain Comes Down":
"Oh I learned to wipe fire from my lips
Wear this cloak of stone as you lean to kiss
I watch the wall, you wear her face right off
I invent new ways of wishing as you two invent love..."
Able to stand alone as poetry, the mostly spoken word "Hello My Sweet," continues the relationship theme, albeit involving self-image and food. Lindsay opens with:
"There's a face inside every block of stone
Waiting for the chisel that makes it known
And a thin girl inside every fat girl's home
Waiting for the chisel that slims down to the bone..."
She emphatically adds:
"...Fat is not food, oh no, it is rage
It is strength, it's a solution
It is refusing ever to be needing
It's a desperate revolution
It is saying I will not deny
And it's saying I can defy
Oh that golden fountain of youth
With fat that can say, fuck you..."
"Cataract" revolves around gender and power issues. Lindsay concludes with:
"...Imagine a group of women convening to say no
Imagine them filling the basement, then the third floor, then the road
Imagine no spilling over for all the women who don't
Imagine walking strong and saying to all the men we know
Imagine knowing that strength is not the same as violence
Knowing that self-reliance is the same thing as defiance

Cuz harm, it has a way with the world
And the world, it has a way with girls
And we keep our eyes on every back
And every time we speak clears this cataract."

This is an artist whose worldly insight certainly belies her age. She has something to say and speaks it both eloquently and powerfully. Whoever said youth is wasted on the young was wrong in Jennifer Lindsay's case.

Track List:

All songs written by Jenn Lindsay.

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