MUSICAL DISCOVERIES [November 2008]:
Indie singer/songwriter Jakki Jelene’s debut album Reflections is an enchanting collection of ethereal pieces. Eleven of the twelve tracks were written by this creative artist with songs about love and ranging to social issues affecting our culture. This avid storyteller enriches us with her thought provoking lyrics and enchanting vocals. Fans of Delerium and Sleepthief may like her sound.
Born in Michigan, Jakki developed her interest in music while in grade school, participating in school plays and musical productions. As a teenager, she joined the school and church choirs, helping to cultivate her musical interests. She said, “From as far back as I can remember, music has been an essential part of my life. I have always been open to listening to many different genres and knew at an early age that I wanted to be a singer. Still, I would have to say that songwriting has turned out to be the most rewarding aspect of working on music.”
As a budding artist, Jakki is self-taught on guitar, and spent long hours playing and writing music and experimenting with electronic based soundscapes. She kept working at her craft and eventually collaborated with various independent artists, creating songs such as “Invisible,” “Crash and Burn,” and “Heaven Bound.” These inspiring, beautiful works provided the backdrop needed to result in her creation of Reflections.
“Comatose” opens this exciting collection of songs, with its dreamy and captivating melody. She has beautiful clarity of tone in this ambient piece. Layered vocals appear throughout many of the tracks, producing great harmonies and depth. A mesmerizing percussive beat pervades “Instrument.” Combined with her soaring vocals, Jakki showcases her lovely instrument. The soothing sounding ” What Are You Waiting For?” has gentle tones although the content of the song is about a relationship on the outs and not wanting your companion to leave.
Electronic soundscapes appeal to the senses in “It Never Stops.” The underlying driving beat sets the mood for “it never stops as we fall in disarray.” The entrancing “Time (It’s Not Too Late)” has beautiful layered voices, giving this piece a haunting flavor. Jakki most definitely has a flair for the ethereal and is successful with the outcome. There is almost a detached feeling in the song “Cold Inside.”
“Life Line” is a moody, downtempo track, and “Treasure” picks up the pace with its dreamy pop sound. Her beautiful, angelic sounding vocals in the latter song are relaxing and an easy listen. The electronica sound returns more abundantly in “Lullaby” and “My Sanctuary.” Lapping waves introduce “To The Sea.” This soothing, melodic piece includes lush vocals that seem to ebb and flow throughout this track. “Silent Night” is the bonus track, and Jakki gives this traditional song a lovely acoustic edge.
Reflections is a collection of new age electronica songs that have a moody edge to many of the tracks. Jakki incorporates her beautiful vocals with much layering infused with gorgeous harmonies and imaginative melodies. Her music maintains an interpretive expression of her work and she appreciates songs with meaning and substance. She has angelic vocals and an innovative style. –Russ Elliot
COLLECTED SOUNDS [March 2007]:
Jakki Jelene is another artist I “met” on MySpace. I listened to a couple of her tracks and really liked them.
I’d describe her music as ethereal, ambient soundscapes with a lovely layered vocals floating over all. It’s reminiscent of Tresspassers William, Sleepthief, Delerium and the like.
“What Are You Waiting for” is an achingly sad song about knowing your partner is halfway out the door and while not wanting her/him to leave, it’s almost better to just get it over with.
I especially like “Life Line”. Reminds me of Everything But the Girl’s song with Massive Attack.
Her version of “Silent Night” is lovely. More acoustic than the rest of the songs, but still very nice.
Very nice chill time record. –Amy Lotsberg
MORPHEUS MUSIC [March 2007]:
STYLE: Restful synthetic arrangements, trip hop and downtempo beats and female vocals. Jakki Jelene sings in a clean, clear style over melodic compositions that blend influences from ethereal, dream-pop, new age, shoegazer and electronica. Emotion fuelled lyrics explore pretty acoustic patterns or moody, lowlight themes where programmed sound dominates, a touch of grit here and there – gentle easy listening love songs at the other end of the spectrum breeze along comfortably, lulling, at times drifting off into dreamy wistfulness.
MOOD: Inviting twilight warmth with a tuneful new age optimism imbues the songs on Reflections with an accessible openness. The mood is mostly one of appealing harmony and softeness – melancholy touches and low light hues balance the sweeter aspects of the music.
ARTWORK: The front cover features a photomontage of the artist’s face reflecting in the glass of an arched window floating, detached from its architecture in an evening sky. Black outlines of branches and leaves thicken the imagery and act to unify the image here with the other panels – heavy shadows running through each. The jewelcase reverse again presents the singer – closer this time, veiled – alongside track titles. The sleeve booklet opens out to deliver an expanded tracklist, lyrics for each piece, credits and thanks.
OVERALL: Jakki Jelene comes from Michigan U.S.A. and is well known to many through her work dedicated to discovery, discussion and promotion of new female vocal talent, through her Angelic Voices discussion forums. Here she presents her own debut release in the angelic vocal, dream pop style she loves. Having performed since school days Jakki began songwriting after receiving her first guitar as a gift. Self-taught, she spent countless hours playing and writing music leading up to a homemade CD, “Acoustic Demos”. The positive attention gained through this experience encouraged the singer to collaborate with various independent artists, providing the experience needed to bring her next musical project, “Reflections” to fruition. Following eleven self composed tracks, the album concludes with an acoustic bonus version of Silent Night.
WHO WILL LIKE THIS ALBUM: Reflections will appeal to fans of female vocal music that enjoy the moodier side of new age electronica. Not so far from the likes of Priscilla Hernandez or San.drine – Jakki Jelene should suit listeners looking for a bit of gentle shadow.
JAM RAG (DETROIT’S MUSIC MAGAZINE) [August 2002]:
Originally from Traverse City, the dreamy voiced singer/songwriter/musician Jakki Jelene describes her music as being a combination of dream pop, synth pop, and shoegazer. Jakki cites her influences as bands that don’t normally get much recognition, like the Cocteau Twins, Bel Canto, Duncan Sheik, and the Alan Parsons Project. Jakki just released a demo CD to give others an idea of what her voice and songs sound like, with the hope of finding other like-minded artists to work with. Entitled “Acoustic Demos”, the CD features 12 tracks of her poetic songs, simmering with passion, accompanied only by her acoustic guitar. Jakki’s songs are about love, lust, seduction, pleasure, and pain. Check out the lyrics to the seductive, “Regardless”: “…lose yourself and give into this ever growing lust, feel my love, feel my breath, feel me deep inside, feel all that I have to give, let me be your guide.” Whew! While Jakki says that she doesn’t consider “Acoustic Demo’s” to be a legitimate CD, I enjoyed it and believe she’s a very promising artist. My favorite tracks are the afore-mentioned “Regardless”, “Time Machine”, “Day Dreaming”, “A Door & A Window”, and “Lullaby”. –Mark Clark