bosticWarm, vulnerable and thoughtful, Bostic has points to make and plenty of strong tunes to make them with.

Label: Jenn Bostic Music
Time:  14 tracks  

You have to be brave to set out on a career as a female singer-songwriter. There is so much competition and you continually have to find connections with your audience. Bostic is competing in this saturated market, where no singer is indispensible, but she has the talent to make her mark.

Faithful displays the urgency and hurt of a mellow Beth Hart, the natural melodies and lingering pain of Plumb (“Cold and Frozen”), with the spirited hopefulness of Kendall Payne – and vocal similarities to all of these.

There are so many strong songs, with good points to make. The title track asks about our integrity (“Who are you going be when there’s nobody else around?”), while “A Little Grace” is about judgmental attitudes.

The pain on this disc is more about her tricky relationships, rather than the grief at the heart of her previous release, focused on losing her father. “Counterfeit” addresses a deceitful lover; the Kendall Payne soundalike “Hurting Me, Hurting You” describes a relationship that is not working out; while in the feisty pop workout “Shiny New Toy,” she defiantly refuses to compromise herself:

“Buy a Mercedes Benz /Show it to all of your friends / I’m not going to be in the passenger seat / I’m not your shiny new toy / I’m aware of my value.”

The feistiness continues into “Fight for your Life,” where she empathises with the hurting, but urges them to battle on.

Like the best Christian songwriters, she writes in a way that anyone can identify with. “Kinda feel Like falling in Love” captures the vulnerability, excitement and hope that come with wanting to love someone when you don’t know how they will respond, while “What Love feels Like” is an anthemic song that everyone can sing along to:

“Everybody wants to know what love feels like.
From the pauper to the Queen, it’s something we can’t fight
You can try to make believe that it’s something you don’t need,
But everybody wants to know what love feels like.”

While initially there is too much similarity between the feel of the songs, each develops character with successive listens and the closer is very different to the rest. With a swing feel to the whole track, capturing a disgruntled moment in a relationship, she sings, “You know I love you, but tonight I don’t like you at all!”

With a generous fourteen songs and no real clunkers, this is worth investigating.

3.5 Tocks
Derek Walker

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