I’ve been a big fan of Jennifer Paige’s ever since her hit “Crush” climbed the charts in 1998. I’ve followed her career through three pop albums, a Christmas album, a podcast and a few EPs she put out with Coury Palermo. When I heard she was doing a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to independently record her new album Starflower, I was totally on board. In my gay opinion funding new music and getting cool perks is music to my ears.
As I mentioned in a previous post, Jennifer has been on my must-see list for a while and one of the Kickstarter perks available was VIP tickets to meet and see her perform in Nashville at the CD release party. I had to try but unfortunately timing wasn’t on my side when the date was announced and a trip to Nashville was out of the question. Now I’m crossing my fingers for a tour when the album officially comes out. However, last week I was thrilled to find a padded envelope in my mailbox (I always get excited when a package is stuffed in my box) containing the other perks. There was a t-shirt, an autographed 8X10, and a signed copy of Starflower with my name in the liner notes. Never in all my years of stalking, I mean being a fan, has one of my divas released an album early to her fans before making it available for purchase…until now.
For a while, through her podcast The Breakthrough Artist, Jennifer has been using her recording experience to help up-and-coming indie musicians make their way into the music industry. Starflower is the brain child of all her wisdom. This album is packed with Jennifer’s familiar songwriting skills. Her voice has matured and the new music is darker and more stripped down. Her breathy vocals float beautifully atop the dreamy beats.
Starflower is a library of songs. The first and last are decorative book ends, “Devil’s In The Details” would fit perfectly on an electronica album and “If We Be Still” has kids giggling over a new age track which isn’t for me but might be cute for those with a uterus. The middle eight songs are incredible and take one’s imagination on new journeys. “Forget Me Not” is a fairy tale of lost love and “Let Me Love You” is even more haunting. If Romeo and Juliet were international spies during World War II their theme would be “Like A Bomb”, if their puppy love bloomed in the 50’s they would dance to “Up At Night” and in the 60’s they would read each other poetry like “Starflower”. The remaining three songs are self-help Songs For The Soul: “To The Madness” helps one appreciate the little things in life, “Can’t Keep You Here” (with Coury Palermo’s) will get you over being done wrong, and “January” will get you through the longing of a loss.
I have been listening to this album on repeat and with each listen I discover something new to fall in love with. These songs stick in my head and I’m constantly catching myself humming one song or another. Starflower has something for everybody and is worth checking out when it’s officially released. I’m so glad Jennifer’s Kickstarter campaign was a success, because if it hadn’t been, this incredible music would have been lost forever.
UPDATE! It’s been a few months since I wrote this post and the album has finally been released. Jennifer added a beautiful acoustic version of her smash hit song “Crush” as a bonus track. She also released a video for “Devil’s In The Details”, the first single off the album, which is incredible. The song was amazing before but this is just the cherry on top.