Listening to Jane Jensen’s “Enchant” feels like opening a portal to a new world of music and expression. The listener will instantly identify the album’s pop sound, yet right under the surface is an emotional richness and mystique that is 100 % New Age music. “Enchant” contains some incredibly well-made songs. As a radio host and playlist curator, I know a hit when I hear it – and “Atha”, “It’s You I Love” and “Bodhi Tree” have everything and more. It is playlist gold, pure and simple. It makes the New Age music genre accessible in a whole new way.
Jane Jensen’s first release for the band Oxygiene 23 was an ambient chill-out room favorite in the Chicago industrial music scene. Jensen moved on to a career in alternative rock, finally signing with Interscope Records and touring the US and Australia (latest album “Burner” from 2000). She has come full circle with “Enchant”.
Jensen also writes music for film and television and is currently developing an alternative health and wellness series.
It’s you I love (ambient)
“Enchant” is, in every way, a feel-good release. The album opener is called “It’s you I love (ambient)”. It is a delightful pop song that embraces the listener from the very first moment. Jensen’s vocal is breathtakingly beautiful with a unique sound. Notice the different expressions; the vocalization, the whispering, and singing. The mixing is just right, creating a soundscape that feels light and complex at the same time. I think the lyrics are outstanding, too; the love we are talking about is romantic (hence the you) – but that is only the beginning. This love is about cherishing the elements (water, fire, and air are mentioned) and life itself. In short, it is easy to fall in love with this brilliant album opener!
Regarding the lyrics on “Enchant”, Jensen says: “Mostly, it is the repetition of a few words in either Aramaic, Sanskrit, Tamil or Hebrew – languages that have no distracting emotional baggage (for me anyway) – it’s more about having a therapeutic experience, healing from injury, staving off anxiety and the ever-lurking, waiting in the wings, depression.” Listening to “Atha”, that seems to be spot on. The repetitive lyrics are deeply comforting, therapeutic even. I love the way the song develops, and the theme is magnificent. I found myself humming along after the first listen.
In terms of instruments used on the album, Jensen plays nylon-string German Lute while Austin Trujillo plays the violin. SriKala did the production and mastering.
My favorite song on “Enchant” is the easygoing and positive “Talitha Kum”. Its healing message is something you can feel deep down in your heart. The Arameic Talitha kum refers to the story of the Raising of Jairus’ daughter in The New Testament. The melody captures the moment of miracle perfectly; the mix of astonishment, joy, and religious awe are all ingredients that spice up the song. Bravo!
“Bodhi Tree” is a delightful little song. It starts with the rhetorical question, as if asking the sacred Bodhi tree for guidance: “Why am I suffering?” Then the journey towards healing, in the shade of the sacred fig tree, starts. Whenever you find yourself in need of a positivity boost, include this song in your playlist.
“Tikkun Olam”, Hebrew for “repair of the world”, seems to communicate the urgency for just that. We need to spend more time fixing things instead of breaking them. “Tikkun Olam” is a smart and cool piece, mixed to perfection. It is short, but it is everything it has to be.
Now we are entering the realm of magic. “There is a place across the water / Leave everything behind,” sings Jensen. On this song, she worked with the Grammy-nominated production team of Marc Johnson and Eric Klee Johnson – and Andy Vandette did the mastering. I love the heavy drums and slow build-up, making the finale so sweet and enchanting. In the end, we are rewarded with a single version of “It’s you I love”, which contains everything that made the album opener so memorable – and it includes some new drums too.
In conclusion: “Enchant” by Jane Jensen is an album with broad appeal. It will please audiences well beyond the realm of New Age music. But it is within the boundaries of this genre it has the potential to shake things up. New Age Pop has only been a dream for such a long time, something that was easy to imagine but hard to do. Jane Jensen may have found the missing link between the two genres, confirming once and for all that New Age Pop is possible. Indeed, she may have found a way to redefine the subgenre for the next decade. “Enchant” is nothing short of a triumph!
For more information and music samples, visit janejensenmusic.com