Down to Earth

Studio Album by released in 2008

Down to Earth review

Promising British artist Jem

Jemma Griffiths, more known under her scenic name Jem, was born in a small Welsh town of Penarth, which is situated near Cardiff. Although she started writing poems and music at the age of thirteen, the future artist wanted to go in for law and entered the Sussex University. Jem paid as little attention to her study as she could, because she was captured by the nightclub life and her work as a DJ. Nevertheless, she graduated from the University with a diploma. After her graduation, the musician worked over her musical and vocal skills for some time and later moved to London. From London, Jem moved to Brooklyn, USA, where she got down to recording her debut Finally Woken. One of the Los Angeles radio stations played her titling track from the disc, and the work proved so brilliant that Jem was signed to Dave Matthews' ATO Records immediately. In March 2004, the famous disc by the singer, Finally Woken, saw light. For her eclectic musical approach and unusual vocals, Jem was called Dido number two. She also reached success in her Motherland, the UK. Soon after that Jem started work over her sophomore attempt, but she found time to record the track Once In Every Lifetime for the Eragon film. In 2008, the song It's Amazing for the film Sex And The City became the official first single from her new album Down To Earth.

Down To Earth: eclectic and danceable tunes

Opposite to its rocky predecessor Finally Woken, the Down To Earth long-play is a rather danceable work, combining different styles from funk to ethnical melodies. The disc opener, its titling track Down To Earth, is sure to astonish the listeners with the Brazilian percussion. Its follow-up, the single Crazy with the funky elements immediately reminds of the creativity by Stevie Wonder. The unique quality of the danceable and emotional track I Want you To is its fiery Latin arrangement. The brilliant single It's Amazing is one of the album's undoubted favorites, especially for the fans of The Sex And The City series and its full-screen version. The song about a close person loss and the following grief You Will Make It (Feat. Vusi Mahlasela) is a touching duet of Jem and South African poet-activist Vusi Mahlasela, while the excellent dance pop composition Aciiid! strikes by Jem's vocals in Japanese. For this track, she cooperated with two of her American-Japanese fans, who explained the details of the Japanese pronunciation. On such energetic tracks as Keep On Walking and Got It Good, one can feel the inspiring influence of hip-hop producer Jeff Bass. The disc is closed with the romantic composition On Top Of The World, on which Jem's voice sounds especially sparkling and filled with ethereal spirits.

The new direction by Jem

For those, who appreciated the singer's debut, Down To Earth is sure to become a big surprise. However, all the clue moments of Jem's creativity - the love for eclectics, experiments and fascinating vocals - are preserved on this full-length. According to the statements of the artist, the lighter and more cosmopolite sound of the album is no ways the move for reaching higher sails and bigger profit - moreover, she does not care about the success and critical approval of her new work. Such approach is worthy approval. Additionally, the artist thinks that Down To Earth is more elaborated and it demonstrates her wish to create music more fully than the debut attempt. In order to record Down To Earth, Jem cooperated with the command of producers. The most obvious influence on the work was done by Lester Mendez (Shakira, Santana, Nelly Furtado), hip-hop producer Jeff Bass, one of the two brothers who opened Eminem, and Greg Kurstin, whose former collaborations include Kylie Minogue and Lily Allen. Although Down To Earth is a work, on which one can recognize Jem only for her beautiful vocals, it should be acknowledged that in the terms of music, this disc is definitely richer and more diverse than its predecessor is. The studio effect, used in the production of Down To Earth, show that the DJ-ing experience and fascination with the dance club music played an important pert in the writing process. After all, such an unpredictable star as Jem can do something totally unexpected on her third album.