Down to Earth

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andrew Leahey
Is Jem a club-ready electronica chanteuse or an easygoing adult contemporary artist? It's difficult to tell on Down to Earth, which furthers the dual personality first shown on Jem's 2004 debut. The refusal to settle on one style often serves Jem well, however, and Down to Earth features a bevy of producers who lend their unique approach to each track. Having created diverse sonic stews for Lily Allen and Kylie Minogue -- not to mention his own project, the Bird and the Bee -- Greg Kurstin stops by to helm "Aciiid!," a synth-driven dance track sung partially in Japanese. Elsewhere, hip-hop producer Jeff Bass who, along with his brother, helped launch Eminem's career ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andrew Leahey
Is Jem a club-ready electronica chanteuse or an easygoing adult contemporary artist? It's difficult to tell on Down to Earth, which furthers the dual personality first shown on Jem's 2004 debut. The refusal to settle on one style often serves Jem well, however, and Down to Earth features a bevy of producers who lend their unique approach to each track. Having created diverse sonic stews for Lily Allen and Kylie Minogue -- not to mention his own project, the Bird and the Bee -- Greg Kurstin stops by to helm "Aciiid!," a synth-driven dance track sung partially in Japanese. Elsewhere, hip-hop producer Jeff Bass who, along with his brother, helped launch Eminem's career mashes banjo riffs with funk horns on "Crazy," and Lester Mendez famous for his work with such Latin artists as Santana, Shakira, and Nelly Furtado employs spoken word samples from West Side Story during the Spanish-tinged "I Want You To...." Those energetic tracks are some of the album's highlights, but they go head to head with songs like "Got It Good," "And So I Pray," and "On Top of the World," all of which are the stuff of lite FM radio stations. Ultimately, the eclecticism shown within Jem's songs may well be a detriment to the album as a whole, since Down to Earth's mix of producers and genres lacks cohesion. It's also worth noting that nothing here is as immediately ingratiating as "They," and while "It's Amazing" another Mendez vehicle does feature a similar chorus -- complete with descending minor chords and repeated iterations of the title -- it can't match the original's spunk and spark. Down to Earth's title depicts Jem as a grounded musician, but its wide-ranging sound suggests something different, as the singer has yet to find a style that fully suits her capabilities. Fortunately, her search for the perfect genre still yields some enjoyable songs, as shown by this album's handful of standout tracks.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/16/2008
  • Label: Ato Records
  • UPC: 880882163020
  • Catalog Number: 21630
  • Sales rank: 97,836

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Down to Earth (4:33)
  2. 2 Crazy (3:39)
  3. 3 I Want You to... (3:38)
  4. 4 It's Amazing (3:58)
  5. 5 Keep on Walking (4:12)
  6. 6 You Will Make It (6:11)
  7. 7 I Always Knew (3:09)
  8. 8 Got It Good (4:26)
  9. 9 Aciiid! (2:56)
  10. 10 How Would You Like It (4:02)
  11. 11 And So I Pray (2:42)
  12. 12 On Top of the World (4:52)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Jem Primary Artist
Ken Robinson Trumpet
Jeff Bass Bass, Guitar, Keyboards
Lester Mendez Piano
Rafael Padilla Percussion
Mick Bolger Trombone, Trumpet, Euphonium, Mellophonium, E Flat Cornet
Johnny Evans Saxophone
Jeff Atmajian Piano
Sonus Strings
Del Casher Sounds
David Levita Acoustic Guitar, Guitar
Jem Griffiths Vocals
Hiroko Aoyagi Vocals
Nick Cuchinella Trombone
Justin Griffiths Acoustic Guitar
Shinobu Lee Vocals
Milan, Derrick & The Krew Choir, Chorus
Carmen Puig Track Performer
Welsh Choir Of Southern California Choir, Chorus
Technical Credits
Jeff Bass Composer, Producer, drum programming, Tracked By, Audio Production
Ted Jensen Mastering
Greg Kurstin Composer
Lester Mendez Composer, Producer, String Arrangements, Brass Arrangment, Instrumentation
Eddie Miller Vocal Engineer
Jeff Atmajian String Arrangements, Piano Arrangement
Mike Bradford Producer, String Arrangements, Instrumentation
Kevin Beber Composer, drum programming
Bryan Cook Engineer
Joe Wohlmuth Engineer
Jem Griffiths Composer, Producer, Vocal Engineer, Poetry Reading
Jem Audio Production
Brian Berryman Engineer, Fader Engineer
Justin Griffiths Composer
Monica Mendez Sound Design
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    True musician at work

    It's interesting to me that the editorial review knocks Jem for having a diverse and unique sound - that is exactly what makes her so wonderful to listen to. Every song is a unique creation, centered around Jem's love for deep bass and rhythm, which just happens to be what contemporary listeners love as well. I applaud her talent, and I enjoy every song on this new album just as much as I enjoy her songs on Finally Woken. I also love Jem the person - she signed my CD in an Atlanta debut concert, and I was enchanted by her lovely British accent, her courtesy to each fan, and her lovely smile. I felt as though Jem was the rock star in me, the living embodiment of what we all wish we could do. I am forever a fan, and a supporter of Jem's ability to turn popular sounds into real music, what all pop music should be. All pop music pales in comparison to Jem.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Tiny Gem From Jem

    If you enjoyed Jem Griffiths' debut album FINALLY WOKEN then there is no reason to dislike her followup. EARTH is a pleasant listen from start to finish. Many of the songs are midtempo chillout electronica numbers, with a few sappy ballads mixed in. Jem embarasses herself with club tune &quot Aciid!!!&quot , sounding like a desperate attempt at street cred. She sounds so much better as a sexy, breezy chanteuse. EARTH's lyrics are of the self-empowerment variety all &quot Kumbaya, let's all hold hands&quot shlock. But overall Jem's sophmore disc is likeable ear candy and better than 90% of the crap that passes off as music nowadays.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews