Pennies in a Jar

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
Merely eyeing the sleeve and scanning the songwriting credits, it appears likely that Nikki Jean's Pennies in a Jar is a sample-heavy nostalgia trip through classic '60s and early-'70s pop and soul (with a little country), maybe with a modernized hip-hop spin on it. That's not the case. It does sound like a nostalgia trip, but all the material is new, written by the twenty-something Nikki Jean alongside a Grammy-baiting list of songwriting legends. Thom Bell, Luigi Creatore, Lamont Dozier, Burt Bacharach, Jeff Barry, Carole King, Bobby Braddock, Paul Williams, Jimmy Webb, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, and Carly Simon were all visited by Nikki Jean, who took the songs to ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
Merely eyeing the sleeve and scanning the songwriting credits, it appears likely that Nikki Jean's Pennies in a Jar is a sample-heavy nostalgia trip through classic '60s and early-'70s pop and soul (with a little country), maybe with a modernized hip-hop spin on it. That's not the case. It does sound like a nostalgia trip, but all the material is new, written by the twenty-something Nikki Jean alongside a Grammy-baiting list of songwriting legends. Thom Bell, Luigi Creatore, Lamont Dozier, Burt Bacharach, Jeff Barry, Carole King, Bobby Braddock, Paul Williams, Jimmy Webb, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, and Carly Simon were all visited by Nikki Jean, who took the songs to producers Sam Hollander and Dave Katz and a set of session musicians. It sounds like some kind of jackpot-fantasy American Idol working vacation. The album was nearing completion when Columbia dropped the artist, allegedly telling her "Nobody cares about these writers," possibly unaware that another artist on the roster, Raphael Saadiq, was in the process of making a second album that emulated the work of those very writers. More significantly, this is the type of thing Nikki Jean -- a music nerd with a lithe, quietly potent voice -- should be doing, and the S-Curve label, which rescued the project, was sensible enough to see that. Guest verses from Lupe Fiasco and Black Thought excepted, the album is a throwback, and each song gets an appropriately classicist backdrop, from the pedal steel and strings on "How to Unring a Bell" (written with Bell), to the slow-motion dream world sound of "Pennies in a Jar" (Bacharach). Taking the music on its own, divorced of context -- without considering the elder songwriters' overwhelming collective body of work -- is close to impossible, but it's very easy to enjoy, voiced by a remarkably refined artist who is neither squarely R&B nor pop, certainly worthy of being granted quality material co-written by some of her heroes. The icing is "Steel and Feathers (Don't Ever)," a gospel/country devotional left unfinished for 30 years until its writer, Bob Dylan, allowed Nikki Jean to complete and record it.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/12/2011
  • Label: S-Curve Records
  • UPC: 807315180126
  • Catalog Number: 51801
  • Sales rank: 114,137

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Nikki Jean Primary Artist
Carole King Background Vocals
Betty Wright Background Vocals
Zelma Davis Background Vocals
Patrice Parker Background Vocals
Mike Daly Pedal Steel Guitar
Aisha McCray Background Vocals
Nir Z. Drums
Matt Beck Banjo
Greg Glassman Flugelhorn
Sean Gould Guitar
Michael Tolcher Background Vocals
Adam Pallin Bass
Ghost Of Harlem Keyboards
Grant Michaels Keyboards
Ray Angry Keyboards
Mark Evitts Strings
Technical Credits
Bob Dylan Composer
Carole King Composer
Carly Simon Composer
Burt Bacharach Composer
Jimmy Webb Composer
Bobby Braddock Composer
Jeff Barry Composer
Thom Bell Composer
Luigi Creatore Composer
Lamont Dozier Composer
Chris Gehringer Mastering
Cynthia Weil Composer
Mike Daly Engineer
Howie Beno Engineer
Tariq Trotter Composer
Barry Man Composer
Sam Hollander Composer
Sean Gould Engineer
Patrick Hegarty Art Direction
S*A*M Producer
Dave Katz Composer
Sluggo Producer
Adam Pallin Programming, Producer, Engineer
David Schommer Composer
Wanda Jaco Composer
Nicholle Jean Leary Composer
Josh Edmonson String Arrangements
Jill Conniff Composer
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2011

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