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Music Street Journal Track-by-Track Review: Jennifer Saran “Wake Up”

9 Oct

Jennifer Saran Cover.2.1

“Jennifer Saran’s new album includes guests like Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Carlos Santana and Narada Michael Walden. I previously reviewed her Christmas album. Her style of music isn’t really my kind of thing, more of an adult contemporary sound mixed with pop. Still, she manages to surpass that and make it work. If you really dig that kind of stuff, you will probably be crazy about this. I will say that there is quite a range of music on this set.

Track by Track Review:

Wake Up – featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Carlos Santana and Narada Michael Walden There is a tribal, almost reggae, vibe to this song in a lot of ways. It’s energized, catchy and classy.

Jesus to a Child (Tribute to George Michael) This ballad has a lot of jazzy sound in the mix. It’s a pretty cut that works really well. I suppose that it’s a little similar to some of George Michael’s music in some ways. That said, this was a song by George Michael. I prefer this version to that one.

Really Now, I’m not really a big fan of this. It’s too heavily based on modern pop music. It feels far too over-produced, too. It’s fast paced and catchy, but not enough to overcome the other problems. I’d consider this to be a “skip” tune.

Me & Mr. Jones (Tribute to Billy Paul) Now, this is very much a mellower jazz take. It works really well. In fact, this might be my favorite tune here. Of course, I loved the Counting Crows version of this tune. The Billy Paul to whom this is dedicated, though, is the person who actually wrote and originally did the song. Mind you, both that version and Billy Paul’s were titled “Me & Mrs. Jones.”

You Are My Star featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo We move back into tribal territory with this piece. I like the duet vocal approach on this song. It’s a nice change and effective number.

Too Young to Know More of an adult contemporary pop music piece, this is a fun number that works really well.

Better Than Me (for Anjali’) A pretty balladic number, this is classy stuff. It’s very much cut from the adult contemporary school of sound.

Look at Me Fly Another built on a bouncy pop styled arrangement, this is catchy and effective. It has a duet built into it. That is a nice touch and brings a soulful element to the table.

Old Cape Cod (Tribute to Patti Page) Given the dedication, you would probably expect a retro styled number. That’s exactly what we’ve got here. This is a ballad that feels like it could have been released in the 1920s or 1930s.The funny thing is, Page’s version was released in the 1950s and feels more contemporary than this one does.

Try to Forgive (But I Cannot Forget) This is another energetic pop tune. I like this quite a bit. It creates some nice contrast to the previous one because it’s a modern sounding piece.

Lean on Me (Tribute to Bill Withers) featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo This has a real tribal vibe here. While I prefer the original, I like the vibe of this one. It’s sort of a different side to the musical ideas.

Grace Is the Champion Another that has a modern pop vibe, this doesn’t suffer from over-production. I’d say that this lands more on the end of rock music than it does pure pop, too. It’s definitely a good tune. In fact, this is one of my favorites here.

I Will Always Be Your Home With a lot of strings in the mix, this blends a rock ballad with an adult contemporary one. I’m not crazy about the mellower parts of this, but I like it quite a bit when it’s more powered up.

My Love and Devotion (Tribute to Doris Day) This is precisely what you’d expect of a cover of Doris Day. It’s delivered in the style she operated within and sounds a lot like her. It’s definitely a slice of a long-gone time.

Aad Guray There is a good chunk of world music on this balladic number. I love the multiple layers of voices on this piece. While I don’t think this is the strongest number here, it has a sort of grounding quality that makes it work well as the final tune on the album.”

www.musicstreetjournal.com

Order or preview the album now on iTunes http://smarturl.it/wakeuplp

 
More information about JENNIFER SARAN or WAKE UP can be found at:
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Contemporary Fusion Reviews FEATURE: Jennifer Saran “Wake Up”

5 Sep

wakeup

“Jennifer Saran prolific singer Jennifer Saran – WAKE UP:  What an absolutely tasty set of music to arise to in my Great Northwest abode… one word of advice before I go any further… listen to this with the volume WAY up, or (better yet) with your headphones on!

Jennifer is based in Hong-Kong, but she must have connections… the title track/opener, “Wake Up“, features Carlos (YES, Santana), and it’s a song we NEED in these days of political babble and blab… LOVED the energy on this excellent song, and it will most assuredly help you to spread the message that needs to be sounded ’round the globe – WAKE-UP, people! One of the reasons I opted for pushing this to a FEATURED slot is the video Jennifer & friends made, which you can watch below:

The driving percussion wafting under Jennifer’s vocal on “Too Young to Know” will have you up & moving ’round the room in the immediate moment!  This definitely isn’t in the “jazz” arena, but longtime readers here know that genre doesn’t figure into my selections for review… only the ENERGY… you will become a fan of Jennifer’s RIGHT NOW when you listen to my personal favorite of the fifteen songs offered up… “Look at Me Fly” features Narada Michael Walden in a full celebration of how great life will be when your spirit is free!  I give Jennifer a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.99!  Get more information at Jennifer’s website.      Rotcod Zzaj”

contemporaryfusionreviews.com

Order or preview the album now on iTunes http://smarturl.it/wakeuplp

 
More information about JENNIFER SARAN or WAKE UP can be found at:

Via Nocturna Review: Jennifer Saran “Wake Up” (translated)

31 Aug

wakeup

Jennifer Saran is a very prolific artist. After her debut with a Christmas album, Merry Christmas You Are Loved (2015), she released Walk With Me in 2016 and already has a new album on the market. Named Wake Up, the Hong Kong-based American singer returns to work with respected Narada Michael Walden to present 15 tracks where she joins versions of her favorite artists (Patty Page , Doris Day , Bill Withers and George Michael) to a set of original pop Alternative and contemporary adult music. Highlights for the collaborations are with the South African choral group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the legendary Carlos Santana.

vianocturna2000.blogspot.pt

Order or preview the album now on iTunes http://smarturl.it/wakeuplp

 
More information about JENNIFER SARAN or WAKE UP can be found at:

Let It Rock Review: Jennifer Saran “Wake Up”

24 Aug

Jennifer Saran Cover.2.1

“It’s no coincidence there’s an imperative shift between 2016’s “Walk With Me” and “Wake Up”: while Jennifer Saran’s sophomore album felt like an inspired invitation to try many a route, its follow-up finds the singer take wing and take her listener way up high. That the mesmerizing “Look At Me Fly” – a duet with producer Narada Michael Walden – is this record’s centerpiece is rather telling, although such a placement can’t distract anyone from the artist’s fully-fledged ability to own not only the little gems she co-wrote but also pop classics inhabited here with, if to quote one of them, love and devotion.

To gender-bend Billy Paul’s “Me & Mrs. Jones” and swing to a strings backdrop or to reveal new emotional layer in Bill Withers’ “Lean On Me” may require a lot of self-confidence, and Saran is truly possessed with assertiveness now, easily outshining the sensual backing provided by LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO on a few numbers – first of all, on the title track where Carlos Santana’s soulful licks kick in to elevate the opener’s vibrancy. With the same rapturous throb filling the translucent “Too Young To Know” whose arrangement ebbs and flows under its melody, and with a wide-eyed delight in “Really” which rides a funky groove, Jennifer doesn’t shy away from the moonlight serenade in “Old Cape Cod”; more so her delicately passionate treatment of “Jesus To A Child” can make Sade blush.

On the opposite side of a rhythmical spectrum, silvery spiritual yet dance-inducing, “Grace Is The Champion” has the potential to become a riff-spiced mantra for an experienced party-goer, one that will deem Saran’s reading of “Aad Guray” too entrancing. But when the orchestra and choir flock into “I Will Always Be Your Home” to warm its welcome, it’s impossible not walk there with the singer and then wake up each morning with a smile and faith in the future.”

dmme.net

WAKE UP was released July 7th, 2017.

Order or preview the album now on iTunes http://smarturl.it/wakeuplp

 
More information about JENNIFER SARAN or WAKE UP can be found at:

 

Watch The “Wake Up” Music Video

 https://youtu.be/WAzK3mAlmrA

Rootstime.be Review: Jennifer Saran “Wake Up” (translated)

2 Aug

wakeup

“The roots of singer-songwriter Jennifer Saran are in North America, but she has been living in Hong Kong for over 25 years since her marriage. Two years ago, she debuted in the music world with a Christmas album and in the middle of last year we could welcome her first official studio album “Walk With Me”. These albums are mainly socially engaged and engage in a variety of charities that they also support financially. As a result, she comes into contact with a few big names from the world of music, art and politics. She sees social commitment as a kind of mission to help her to a better world.

The American top producer Narada Michael Walden took care of Jennifer Saran’s musical activities and compiled songs for her album “Walk With Me” and also took on the role of producer. Also for her new “Wake Up” CD, the close collaboration with him continued, and the recording of the 15 tracks took place in the Tarpan Studios of Narada Michael Walden in San Rafael, California.

For the recording of the album title track “Wake Up”, Jennifer Saran could count on the musical support of guitar legend Carlos Santana and the South African formation ‘Ladysmith Black Mambazo’. The proceeds from the sale of this single go in full to the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation, an organization around the South African archbishop and Nobel laureate winner of human rights and combating the suppression of all the weak in the world.

Most of the songs on this album belong to the smoothly heard alternative pop genre. Nine of these songs were composed by Jennifer Saran and Narada Michael Walden, and next to a version of the traditional “Aad Guray”, this singer also brings five covers of songs that are close to her for some reason.

While George Micheal died last year on Christmas day, Saran creates a tribute and brings her own version of his hit “Jesus To A Child”. Also soul-classic “Me And Mrs. Jones “of the singer Billy Paul, who died in April 2016, receives a personalized dress and the ‘Mrs. Jones ‘was appropriately amended to’ Mr. Jones’. Patti Page was an American singer of traditional pop songs who sold more than 100 million albums in her long career. Jennifer Saran selected her song “Old Cape Cod” from 1957 for a tasteful cover version on this album.

In addition, there is also a musical tribute to two artists who Jennifer Saran admires for their successful career and who wants to put them on the record by releasing one of their biggest hits. From American soul and R & B singer Bill Withers, she selected “Lean On Me”, one of his best-known songs, and the present-day 95-year-old singer and actress Doris Day is blown with a cover of her song “My Love And Devotion “, a song she sang in 1952 for her movie” Lullaby Of Broadway “.

Jennifer ‘Hill’ Saran is a single mother of three children after her husband Kuldeep Saran’s death, but she also wants to be a mother for all disadvantaged children in the world. She is committed to creating a better world and doing so with enormous dynamism and positivism; Features that are also found in her music and in her songs. Such a lady deserves our full support in achieving her noble goals and the promotion of her latest, very beautiful record can be seen as a small contribution of ‘Rootstime’.”

rootstime.be

WAKE UP was released July 7th, 2017.
Order or preview the album now on iTunes http://smarturl.it/wakeuplp
 
More information about JENNIFER SARAN or WAKE UP can be found at:

 

Watch The “Wake Up” Music Video

 https://youtu.be/WAzK3mAlmrA

The Aquarian Review: Jennifer Saran “Wake Up”

31 Jul

wakeup

“Singer/songwriter Jennifer Saran doesn’t rap, she sings in a most delectable way, always in service to the song. The title track of her self-released Wake Up features Ladysmith Black Mambazo and some guitarist named Santana as produced by Narada Michael Walden. It’s a clarion call for the enlightened. Saran is based in Hong Kong and has the kind of eclectic musical worldview to the point where she takes George Michael’s “Jesus To A Child”—with Walden on drums—and wraps it in the gauzy haze of four violins, two violas, cello and flute with her voice emanating out from within the middle. Similarly, when she tackles the Billy Paul hit “Me And Mrs. Jones,” changing the gender and leaking body fluids all over the mix, one can feel the danger of falling in love with someone when you’re already married to someone else. Most impressive, though, is her complete overhaul of the 1957 Patti Page hit “Old Cape Cod” and the 1952 Doris Day hit “My Love And Devotion” which sent me scurrying to YouTube to hear the originals. Her “Lean On Me” does Bill Withers proud and her originals beg to be interpreted in other genres. Welcome to the big stage, Jennifer Saran! You deserve it.”

By Mike Greenblatt at www.theaquarian.com

WAKE UP was released July 7th, 2017.
Order or preview the album now on iTunes http://smarturl.it/wakeuplp
 
More information about JENNIFER SARAN or WAKE UP can be found at:

 

Watch The “Wake Up” Music Video

 https://youtu.be/WAzK3mAlmrA

Fatea Records Review: Jennifer Saran “Wake Up”

26 Jul

Jennifer Saran Cover.2.1

“This is indeed a rare jewel.”

“Jennifer Saran is an American born Hong Kong based singer songwriter of whom I knew nothing prior to the receipt of this latest album to review. I am certain that this is more my loss than hers. One of her aims in life, through both her music and charitable work, would seem to be to make the world we live in a better place. She is involved with a number of charities and the proceeds from the title track, “Wake Up” will go to the Desmond Tutu Foundation in South Africa.

The “Wake Up” album is a bit of a jewel for music lovers, containing a mix of almost every genre of music with the exception of opera. In addition to Jennifer’s amazing voice, it includes the Ladysmith Black Mambazo choir from South Africa and the renowned guitarist Carlos Santana. One thing that really struck me about Jennifer’s vocals is the clarity of her diction. No need here to rush off to find the sleeve notes to understand what she is singing about.

The album contains a mix of new songs written by Jennifer either alone or in collaboration with others and a number of tribute songs to other artists. All produced by Narada Michael Walden in California.

The tribute songs make for an unusual contribution to this production. A couple are fairly predictable, Bill Withers (Lean On Me) and Billy Paul (Me and Mr Jones.) The others, much less so! George Michael’s “Jesus To A Child” is quite superb and emphasises the quality of Jennifer’s voice. It also demonstrates what a talent the world of music lost with the death of George. Two of the other renditions came as a bit of a shock to this listener. Patti Page’s “Old Cape Cod” and Doris Day’s “My Love and Devotion” are not tracks that you would expect to hear on a CD issued in 2017. They are both however quite wonderful and the producer has done an incredible job of making the songs sound like they had been recorded at the relevant period in time, demonstrating total respect for the original artist and musicians! “Old Cape Cod” reminds me of music from a Busby Berkeley film although it never appeared in one. It just has that sound and feel to it and even includes vocal backing that is reminiscent of The Andrews Sisters.

There are a few real gems in the self-penned songs too. The title track “Wake Up” is a very uplifting song despite its very harsh warning about the state of our planet. Rather unusually for a protest song, it is played with a real beat and the backing of the choir. It works for me though and makes me listen to the words far more than some of the dirges I have heard in the past which try to make a point. “I Will Always be Your Home” is a line that all parents will have, at one point, told their children. A delightfully slow and very thought provoking track! “Really” sounds as though it has come straight from the local disco and “Grace is the Champion” is an excellent example of modern alt pop.

Jennifer is a lady who really cares about life and has produced an album to match her passion. I can honestly say that I like every track on this album. Some more than others but the same can be said of almost every album ever issued. One track will lift you up, the next will make you think about your life and that of others less fortunate. This is indeed a rare jewel. A lady who would make a wonderful dinner guest and is a very accomplished singer songwriter to be admired and taken notice of!”

www.fatea-records.co.uk

WAKE UP was released July 7th, 2017.
Order or preview the album now on iTunes http://smarturl.it/wakeuplp
 
More information about JENNIFER SARAN or WAKE UP can be found at:

 

Watch The “Wake Up” Music Video

 https://youtu.be/WAzK3mAlmrA

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