Indie-Music Review

by Heidi Drockelman
 

"One of the best albums of the year by any artist, Fireworks & Karate Supplies is a career-defining record for Jennie DeVoe, a remarkable talent. Having been privileged enough to experience Jennie's live shows and witness her audible evolution over the last six years, I am floored by this effort. Jennie is a truly unique vocal talent. I sit dumbfounded at the artistic actualization she's managed to get down on record. The brevity she possesses within her languid, raspy performance is risky, but all the while it seems a natural progression in all its sexy, bluesy, truthful bliss. Her powerhouse voice can stop you in your tracks but it also possesses a sweetness that surges and sears the soul."

Artist: Jennie DeVoe

CD: Fireworks & Karate Supplies

Home: Indianapolis, Indiana

Style: Rock/Blues

Quote: "The brevity she [DeVoe] possesses within her languid, raspy performance is risky, but all the while it seems a natural progression in all its sexy, bluesy, truthful bliss."

A spirited firecracker with a kung-fu grip on her talent, Jennie DeVoe’s latest release is a masterclass in vocal work and by far the best representation of her own unlimited creativity as an artist. Having been privileged enough to experience Jennie’s live shows and witness her audible evolution over the past six years since her first studio release, I am inexplicably floored by this effort. While I know Jennie to be a solid performer, a truly unique vocal talent, and, yes, one of the hardest-working women on the Midwestern music scene, I still sit, dumbfounded, at the complete artistic actualization she’s managed to get down on record. On Fireworks, Jennie has taken lyrical leaps of faith that catapult her recording experience to a new level. In fact, the brevity she possesses within her languid, raspy performance is risky, but all the while it seems a natural progression in all its sexy, bluesy, truthful bliss. There isn’t a single misstep here, and the ultra-clean velvety touch of the production and mastering team captures the true essence of a performer in her prime.

 

This record is bathed not only in the warmth, honesty, and fire of that otherworldly instrument DeVoe so ably bends to her will, but subtly plays itself out in guitar and bass lines that selflessly showcase that massively enormous voice. DeVoe’s powerhouse may sometimes stop you in your tracks, but it also possesses a sweetness that surges and sears the soul.

 

DeVoe’s previous credits include three John Lennon Songwriting Contest Honorable Mentions, song licensing with major TV shows and Corona Beer, astonishing independent CD sales (over 20,000 copies of previous albums sold), and 2003’s top prize in the Pop Genre in the Billboard Songwriting Contest. There have been local and regional accolades from media, fans and musicians of all levels and notoriety. But all her former glory pales in comparison to the passionate, pleading, punctuated performances given on this album. It is a crowning jewel in the independent music landscape and could just be the record that pushes DeVoe front and centerstage. One of the best albums of the year by any artist, Fireworks & Karate Supplies is a career-defining record for a remarkable talent.

 

RIYL: Lucinda Williams, Tori Amos, Melissa Etheridge, Ani DiFranco

 

Standout tracks: "Desperately," "Don't It Sound Good," "Redeeming," "My Sister the Hippie," and one kickass remake of "Ode to Billy Joe"

 

Find this review on-line here.

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