Review by Paul Sabin for MPM
Midlands based, rock vixen, Jane Gould has been a busy bee since her departure from Iconic Eye.
Aided by the mighty Steve Newman who took on multiple roles on the project including production, backing vocals, guitar, bass, keys, and joint song writing duties, Stephen Chesney on guitar, Rob McEwen on drums, Dave Bartlett on backing vocals and Soren Kronqvist on additional keyboards, Gould has created a sophisticated and ballsy album consisting of twelve tracks.
Guest cowriters and soloists appear throughout these songs and make for varied an exciting content.
`Fire In Wonderland’ starts proceedings and doesn’t pull any punches. Pure AOR goodness through and through. Layered keys, driving rhythms and melodic backing vocals underpin Gould’s powerful but gloriously lush voice. No wonder this is the first single to be released from the album! The harder rocking `Dangerous’ drips with catchy hooks and soaring choruses from every pore.
`Darkness Into Dawn’ is nothing short of anthemic with atmospheric keys and chugging guitars vying for attention ahead of the sugary goodness of the song’s chorus. The pace slows a little with the tender ballad `For Both Of Us’ which is perfectly suited for Gould’s voice which is full of warmth and character here.
`Shoot For The Heart’ with its synth/guitar riff transports you back to the eighties where rock was still in the charts and bands like T’Pau ruled. Superb keyboard licks dominate the amazingly beautiful `Maybe I Believe’ which highlights Gould’s ability to sit a crystalline, pure vocal on top of a powerful, kicking track and still rule it with a lace covered glove!
We return to the world of the ballad with the piano led `I Pretend’ which oozes emotion and passion. The album’s title track smashes in next with Justin Larner launching a killer guitar solo on this AOR anthem. The piano style of `Every Time I See Your Picture (I Cry)’ combined with intense chorused backing vocals have an undeniable feel of the late Jim Steinman and Jane Gould’s lead vocal doesn’t disappoint either. Just wow!
We finish with `Don’t Be Afraid Of Your Dreams’. It may be more pop than rock, but it still hits home and if this album hasn’t let Gould realise her dreams, then I’d be very surprised.
Having known Jane Gould for a while now, I knew this album would be good as she always put 110% into anything she does, but here she has flexed her creative wings more than ever before and it shows through in the sheer quality of what’s been achieved. This is only the second time recently that a female solo album has given me goosebumps, the first being Chez Kane’s debut s
Full album out on the 15th of April on AorBlvdRecords.