April 19, 2007

Review: Jana Hunter

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3 out of 5 Stars
Jana Hunter’s latest release, There’s No Home, is a bit of an enigma on first listen. Hunter, a native of Texas whose sound reminds this listener of a darker, more world weary Camera Obscura, possesses a voice that comfortably scrapes the depths of a dusky jazz range. Her voice weaves its way through strikingly lush guitar arrangements for much of the album, inexplicably resulting in a sound which can be described as both folk and indie. There’s No Home is by turns optimistic and despairing. The album’s more discordant, melancholy songs (such as “Pinnacle”) alternate with peaceful, contented folk-flavored songs (like “Bird”), which can be a bit jarring. However, the relatively short length of the tracks reduces these abrupt tone shifts to a minor annoyance in an otherwise highly intriguing release. Hunter’s folksy brooding flickers constantly between ease and discontent, finally leaving the listener with a haunting sense of satisfaction.