Enchant – Jane Jensen (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Given Jane Jensen‘s past musical endeavours, particularly as part of the all-girl “spunk band” The Dolls, and her close association with the likes of Troma Entertainment and the world of comic books, Enchant, might come as a bit of surprise. But there is one thing that links all of those projects, not to mention her many roles in TV and musical theatre. Escapism. And that is exactly what lies at the heart of this new album.

Seen as a renewed focus on her musical career, after a leave of absence to dedicate herself to motherhood, Enchant is an otherworldly experience that weaves together both music and cultural threads in a way reminiscent of the likes of Loreena McKennit.

The album presents us with a series of tonal chants, repetitive and beguiling lyrics in languages ranging from Aramaic, Sanskrit, Tamil or Hebrew, which sit beyond meaning for most listeners and so are perfect for an entrancing, yoga-like narrative experience.

Musically it is a weave of folk traditions and inspirations garnered from across the world, everything from tabla beats to klezmer grooves, gipsy violins to Spanish guitars. But the thing that really sets this apart from your average world music infusion is the way that those rich textures also sit on top of modern electronica and programmed sounds. And it is these mercurial blends of genre and geography, culture and sound, past and present, digital and analogue which really makes the album stand out.

Jane Jensen has had many interesting and intriguing chapters in her life, all diverse and different from one another, all boundary-pushing and creatively adventurous. Enchant is the start of another. Perhaps more calm and considered than some of those in the past, more understated and subtle but no less creative and certainly no less captivating.

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