Doubling back with twice the effect

Last year, Jane Weaver released The Silver Globe to some serious acclaim. Turns out she had a few odds and ends from the project, and those are now being released as a companion disc, The Amber Light. After repeated perusals, I'm not sure which I like better.

Jane Weaver
The Silver Globe
The Amber Light

(Finders Keepers)
To put it another way, I love them both. Weaver moves through decades of rock and electric sounds without aping anyone. Her vocal style is strong and deceptively simple. She holds the notes of the melodies firmly, which gives her singing a deliberate feel. When she breaks loose, the effect is intoxicating.

Each disc starts with an experimental electronic overture, but Weaver's adventure pop sound quickly takes to the fore. Many tracks have the feel of a densely-populated version of Parallel Lines, but that is a very loose comparison. Weaver's facility with melody and rhythm is breathtaking, but her ability to craft epic pop songs is far beyond anything I've heard in ages. Give the eight minutes of "Argent" a spin and let me know if you have any breath left.

Weaver has been doing this for years, but I'm just now getting around to discovering her. I never worry about such oversights; I'm only happy to finally come into contact with greatness. And unlike many "special edition" sets (which tend to be brazen cash grabs), The Amber Light adds to and, in some cases, even improves upon the stellar Silver Globe. Both are excellent.

As for reference points past Blondie, you can look to Abacab-era Genesis, Peter Gabriel from the same time frame, Florence + the Machine (I suppose that's a no-brainer) and Danish dance-pop queen Annie. Which is to say these songs are addictive and complex. Not to mention insanely beautiful. Weaver's vocals fuse with her prog-electro-pop leanings to create some truly gorgeous moments.

I haven't had an artist grab me like this in some time. I was just paging through the listening pile when I realized that I could not let go of this one. That's a great feeling. There's so much here that I can't begin to say enough.

Jon Worley

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