Joanne Janzen – Sad Circus
Canada-based/Australia-bred emerging country-pop singer Joanne Janzen, debuts with her first full-length effort, Sad Circus. It’s a collection of ten moody and soulful, and lyrically heartfelt songs.
The album starts strong with the smooth and catchy “Do It All Over Again”, one of my favorites on here. The song immediately lets you know that Janzen’s charm goes hand in hand with her subtlety. There’s nothing over-the-top about her. No distinguishable pretense. A beautiful voice on top of the sound of some of Nashville’s best.
Underlying “Hanging By A Thread” is a fantastic piano-driven rhythm that really gels all the sounds together. It’s a song about marriage, in all its great and mundane glory. “Hollow”, one of the three songs Janzen wrote (along with “Everybody Knows Better” and “You Take Me Home”), depicts a teenage girl wrestling with life’s decisions. The chorus sums it up best with, “You don’t want to live your life in the shallows.”
By the end of it all, this is a well-performed, well-written, and well-produced album, with great vocals. It contends with the best of them within its genre. There were times I was reminded of the country tendencies of jazz singer Nora Jones, and other times where I heard the influence of Bonnie Raitt. I would wish for a couple of more stand-out tracks. A couple of more songs to consider obvious singles. But all and all, the sound is smooth sailing from start to finish. As it turns out, Sad Circus is not so sad after all.