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Finally Woken
     

Finally Woken

4.7 18
by Jem
 

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Finally Woken, Jem's full-length debut, fleshes out the It All Starts Here EP with six additional tracks. It features the addicting title track, the same one that blew away KCRW and Nic Harcourt and got her signed to ATO, and it really is quite brilliant. With a dizzy main loop and loping percussion that undulates slyly beneath Jem's

Overview

Finally Woken, Jem's full-length debut, fleshes out the It All Starts Here EP with six additional tracks. It features the addicting title track, the same one that blew away KCRW and Nic Harcourt and got her signed to ATO, and it really is quite brilliant. With a dizzy main loop and loping percussion that undulates slyly beneath Jem's dusky vocal detachment, it sounds like what would happen if Beth Orton started bouncing ideas off of Super Furry Animals' hard drive. The song's formula essentially repeats throughout Finally Woken -- Jem's simplistically alluring vocals stringing along subtle electronic percussion, ear-catching samples, and melodic loops built from traditional instruments. However, perhaps because this debut sort of snuck up on her, it seems stylistically scattershot. Jem and collaborator Yoad Nevo have a jones for switching things up. They elongate and reduce their elements wildly, to varying degrees of success. ("Missing You," for example, is just too weepy, while "Wish I"'s breezy '60s pop update somehow sounds too shrill.) Still, this adventurism is to be applauded. Jem could've rewritten "Finally Woken" ten times and given Dido a run for the MOR electro-pop title. Instead, she settles awkwardly between mainstream accessibility and intimate bedroom electronica -- she even recorded much of her vocal work in bedrooms. "They" amplifies the percussion and drops in chattering children nonsensicals as a sample, while "Save Me"'s sultry bump could have been written for Ashanti. It just begs for an MC to break in; instead, Jem herself switches to cheeky sort of rap cadence for the final verse. "Mirror mirror on the wall/Who's the dumbest of them all?" she coos in her slight Welsh lilt. "24" is more aggressive with its insistent violin loop and roaring electric guitar -- there's even a church bell tolling in the background -- while "Falling for You" channels the breezy space pop of Zero 7. Overall, Jem's songcraft is only ambitious in relation to a genre often defined by a "blander is better" pleasure principle. But it's the intimacy she squeezes between Finally Woken's capable cutting, pasting, and sequencing that makes it really inviting. It's like a sheaf of endearingly crumpled love letters from a talented, scatterbrained friend.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/23/2004
Label:
Ato Records
UPC:
0880882151928
catalogNumber:
21519
Rank:
146414

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jem   Primary Artist
Nick Ingman   Conductor
Paul Herman   Acoustic Guitar
Yoad Nevo   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Bass,Percussion,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Recorder,Sitar,Double Bass,spanish guitar,Mini Harp
Justin Griffiths   Acoustic Guitar,fender rhodes

Technical Credits

Nick Coler   Composer
Nick Ingman   Arranger,String Arrangements
Brian Higgins   Composer
Mike Caren   Composer
Ge-ology   Producer
Lloyd Gardiner   Engineer
Paul Herman   Composer
Yoad Nevo   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Water Bottle
Jem Griffiths   Composer
Jem   Arranger,Producer
Danny Griffin   Bass Programming
Justin Griffiths   Composer,String Arrangements

Customer Reviews

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Finally Woken 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This cd is AWESOME! There's something really odd about her vocals..they sound almost frosted. In any case, it adds an element of distinction to her work, which is fantastic all by itself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jem's music is like no other! Her songs are addicting, and her voice is beautiful. I first heard her music on the OC soundtrack, after that, I went out and bought Finally Woken. If you are looking for something that you can listen to in your car or on your personal music player, this is the CD for you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This cd is what you would get by smashing Dido with Evanescence and adding a sprinkle of "trip-hop." The first 5 tracks will have you grooving on a dance floor while the last six will have relaxing at the table in the club with drink in hand.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't have Jem's CD, but after listening to the music clips, I totally got hooked. She has a unique sound, a different vibe. It's such chill music.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love the songs on this CD. Jem is a wonderfully individual artist who refuses to be limited to one genre or style of music. I highly recommend this CD!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
my friend bought me this CD and i love every song on this album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
its relaxing music that you can just sit and forget all things.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought Jem's "It All Starts Here" CD after hearing "Just A Ride" on The Spy (www.1053thespy.com), a really cool alternative station in Oklahoma City. I heard the song and was hooked, so I found Jem's website on the internet and ordered her CD through it. It was so good that I couldn't wait for the new full-length CD to come out. The new release did not disappoint. I love all kinds of music, especially alternative music. This CD is a little different than what I'm used to, but it is quite refreshing. I highly recommend this CD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i can actually say i like every song on this cd...and that is a rarity for me. good lyrics...good music!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this cd. I was listening to it in the store and I bought it right then, I love it. I was looking for something different and unique, and THIS was it! I HIGHLY recommend this cd.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Awesome CD! I heard it playing at a music store and bought it right away. After playing it for my girlfriends, they all went out and bought a copy. If you like Dido, you will love Jem. It's kind of like club music on prozac... stimulating but somehow calming too. It really is addicting, you'll find yourself listening to it over and over and over...
Guest More than 1 year ago
I got this cd only cause I heard it in the store. Now I can't stop playing it over and over....
Guest More than 1 year ago
I listened to this on a listening station one day while strolling through a music store, and absolutely HAD to have it. Every song is great, which is hard to find in a CD these days. I can listen to this CD in the car, while I'm in the bath, on my MP3 player while jogging...it's totally versatile and great for either getting ready to go out with friends, having friends over, or chilling out by yourself. I don't know how she does it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD is so good! Every track! Its a wonderful mix of vocals, and a little Rock N Roll. I like to think this CD is> Dido + Enya + Classic Rock, and Wit.. you will enjoy this CD!
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