Saskatoon Star Phoenix
Jenny Whiteley turns to an old Felice and Boudleaux Bryant song to set the appropriate tone for her new album. With Raining in My Heart, a posthumous hit for Buddy Holly, she tells us in her gentle voice and its acoustic setting that it may be beautiful all around her, but it's raining you-know-where.
From that point on, Whiteley mixes her lonely, almost spooky voice right up front as she meanders through folk, country, bluesy and sometimes rock territory, mixing genres as fast as her excellent musicians can switch from electric guitars and mellotron to banjos, dobros and mandolins.
There may be broken hearts, but, to quote one title, There Was Love. And, in Ripple Effect, with its lilting country rock, she sings of a love so good she couldn't live without it. Then, in the lovely Kind Mirror, she sings of waking up at 40, when she needs her lover to show her a kind mirror.
In the slow and dark Truth and the Eyes of the Dead she warns "get out while you can/cause you can never be my man," and then in Slack, she turns to a bright pop arrangement to convey her anger at a man when she's had enough. The guitar work here is superb.
Whiteley's got a knife-edge to her quiet approach. Watch out.