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Jess Klein
Bound To Love
Review By Steven Stone
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  On her seventh studio album, Bound to Love, Jess Klein shows her best side, as indicated by the fetching silhouette on the front cover. Her music combines the energy of rock with the melodic innovation of an original singer/songwriter.

Klein's musical career began in Boston in 1998 with the release of her Wishes Well Disguised. After another independent release and winning the Telluride Troubadour Songwriting Contest she joined Rykodisc for the release of Draw Them Near in 2000. After several years of touring with songwriter collective group Voices on the Verge Klein returned to her birthplace, New York City, and recorded her second solo album for Ryko, Strawberry Lover. By 2006 Klein had migrated to the independent label, United For Opportunity, where she released the Motown-influenced album City Garden. In 2007 Klein put out a live album, Live At Mo Pitkn's House of Satisfaction. Then to increase her own personal satisfaction Klein moved to Austin, Texas, in 2008. Bound To Love has the first creative fruits of her Austin sojourn.

Despite the Stax/Volt type horns on the opening cut, most of Klein's original songs on Bound To Love have a noticeable roots/country vibe. She has an uncanny ability to combine catchy hooks with intimate lyrics. Although her subject matter is personal, many of Klein's songs have universal anthemic appeal. "Fool" paints a complete picture of modern honky-tonk America by the end of the first verse. "It Will Come To Me" uses its ascending melody to give tune a majestic quality similar to some of Tom Petty's best songs. Even on the sole cover tune, John Hiatt's "Before I Go," Klein adds a special level of personal pathos to the song.

Aided by guitarist Judd Newcomb and keyboard player Mark Addison, who also serve as co-producers, Jess Klein has created a strong musical statement on Bound to Love that deserves to be heard.

 

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