Album Review: Jenny O.'s 'Home'
Among the lesser-known acts featured on the new “Rave On Buddy Holly” tribute album is Jenny O., a young singer-songwriter with ties to the L.A. hipster-hippie scene that also includes Jonathan Wilson and the Chapin Sisters. (On “Rave On,” her flirty rendition of “I’m Gonna Love You Too” comes after songs by Paul McCartney and Cee Lo Green and before tunes by Patti Smith and Lou Reed.) That said, this five-track EP arrives in stores with no shortage of new-school buzz behind it: At the South by Southwest festival in March she turned tastemakers’ heads during an intimate performance in an Austin hotel room, and a few weeks ago her song “Well OK Honey” found its way onto HBO’s “True Blood.”
“Home” justifies the excitement — it’s a perfectly charming folk-pop confection sure to win the singer a following among fans of Regina Spektor, Feist and Ingrid Michaelson. Like those women, Jenny O. often embroiders her tunes with quirky instrumental touches; she’s way into the sound of a tambourine with lots of reverb on it. But her voice is alluring enough to go without the trimmings: In the best song here, “All My Wishes,” she sings softly but purposefully over a bare-bones acoustic-guitar figure. The lyrics are about the disappointment that sometimes sets in after you get what you want. It’s a feeling Jenny O. might soon encounter again.
Three stars (Out of four)
— Mikael Wood