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Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
Artist: Jeni Varnadeau
Label: Roryn Parti Entertainment / Distributed by GoGlobal Entertainment
Length: 10 Tracks / 34:23
Released: February 2006
"If you wanna take a ride to somewhere else I'm waiting, I'm waiting," are the words that open Something Changed a spectacular album from Jeni Varnadeau. Since the 1997 release of the Colors of Truth, there has been no denying the abundant vocal talent of the Albuquerque New Mexico native. Something Changed, however, represents a new dimension in Varnadeau's songwriting ability. The opening track, "I'm Waiting" is a splendid collaboration between Varnadeau and the song's producer Scott Williamson.
Something Changed is Pop Rock at its best, with good hooks, melodies and an upbeat tempo. Varnadeau penned solo or collaborated for all of the grooves on the disc.
The many vivid colors of Something Changed can be attributed to the numerous producers who contributed to the creation of the CD. Joining the aforementioned Williamson (tracks 1, 5, 6) are Kevin Perry (2, 3, 8) and Stephen Leiweke's work on "Silly Me" guarantees another hit song. In addition to his many production credits, Leiweke's guitar and keyboard work has surfaced on the albums of Ginny Owens and Rebecca St James. Tommy Collier was in the studio for "Afraid" while Matt Bronlewee's (Natalie Imbruglia, Rebecca St James) hand guided production on "Hammer In My Hand."
The voice distortion that introduces "Cutting Strings" and reappears later in the track adds a welcome offbeat dimension to the hooky pop tune. This song has number one hit written all over it. The words to "Cutting Strings" are brought to life by Varnadeau's passionate vocals;
I am cutting strings that tie me downI especially liked the musicality that Varnadeau and producer Kevin Perry achieved with "Just Like You." The song is introduced with Parisian accordion elements and ends the same way.
"Silly Me" and "I Am Winter" explore the many moods of the artist. The singer confides in her cat in "Silly Me." The monologue is a reminder to chill and enjoy life in the midst of stress and calamity. In the later track we hear the singer thanking God for being a safe haven. The lyrics are highlighted with "I need your warmth when life's storms blow" and "only you can save me from this avalanche."
Although the electric guitar work of George Cocchini and Greg Hagan is good what really caught my ear was Hagan's acoustic strumming on "Afraid " (7th track) and "Hammer In My Hand" (9th track).
You won't want to listen to the song "Miss You" without a box of Kleenex nearby. If you have ever lost a sister, brother, child or parent your heart will break as you recall the loss and the life that may have ended far too soon. The song is dedicated to the memory of Jeni Varnadeau's sister Lisa.
Not only did I love Something Changed but I became a big fan of Jeni Varnadeau as I spun the disc over and over again.
By Joe Montague, exclusive rights reserved
Joe Montague is an internationally
published journalist / photographer. His ministry is dedicated to the memory
of his late son Kent David Montague who went to heaven at the age of 18.
All copyright and distribution rights remain the property of Joe Montague.