Album Reviews

Janey Street

In My Own Skin

Artist:     Janey Street

Album:     In My Own Skin

Label:     Blue Elan

Release Date:     06.23.2017

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There are no easy streets in the music biz. The yellow brick boulevard that so few travelers ever get to cruise on is paved over many miles of potholed streets, laid with raw talent, dreams, perseverance, a little luck, broken promises, and major label deals that turn into minor foot notes when they drop you off at the curb.

Veteran Janey Street has lived it, and writes and sings out about it in a universal way throughout In My Own Skin. Traveling through life up, down and around the block, this outing should touch anyone who gives it a listen.

Although she shares songwriting credits on 99% of this outing, with veteran songwriters like Billy Lawson, Jane Bach, Sam Tate, Lenore Rosenblatt, and Janis Ian (her lifelong friend since childhood), there are no songs by committee. Street’s fingerprints are all over this, and every cut on here sounds lyrically and melodically unified and the overall production strongly maintains that unity. As Berry Gordy used to print on his label, “It’s What’s In The Grooves That Counts ” and they count off strong with her opening fingersnapper, “Wrap My Mind Around You.”

As she did with her first go around, on her visit to My Side Of Paradise last year, she teams up with veteran producer Dave Darling, who assembles a very tight ensemble of LA studio cats like drummer Matt Laug and bassist Carl Sealove, who keep the groove and Janey’s vision smack on track. The melodies are ones you may find yourself humming, after the music stops.

This is her Blue Elan follow up release to last year’s My Side Of Paradise, and though sometimes followup recordings, like movie sequels, fall short of the mark, I think the opposite is true here. Even when Street takes a left turn, as she does on “Dignity,” it still really works. Strong songs are survivors. as she lets us know in “I’m Not Waiting In The Wings” The big old buzzer sounds when time runs out with a fresh remake of her “Under The Clock,” which was a Top 40 hit from her days on MTV, back when it was a music channeland the song still has a real feel-good, timeless tune that will leave you wanting more. When you cruise down Janey’s street, you’ll find that her time is far from up.

—Ken Spooner

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