The Beautiful Wild
2011 JUNO nominee Jenn Grant takes flight on her fourth release, The Beautiful Wild. It’s superbly produced by her husband (and keyboardist for In-Flight Safety), Daniel Ledwell, who creates remarkable arrangements using guitars, bass, drums, fiddle, banjo, pedal steel, piano, and horns, as well as a children’s choir on two tracks. Grant’s charming voice is the album's centerpiece, sliding between notes with natural grace. She’s a deeply expressive singer, coy in some places and forceful in others. The strength of her vocals makes the introspective tracks the most memorable, namely “The Fighter,” “I Want You Back,” “Hollywood,” and “Michael.” The pace quickens with “I’ve Got Your Fire,” “White Dove,” and “In the Belly of the Dragon,” all upbeat folk-pop gems. Mixing things up is “Gone Baby Gone,” a dense mix of percussion, vocals, electric guitar riffs, treated sitar, and harp. She throws a wild card with the closer “Green Grows the Lilac,” which—despite the title—is an unexpected reworking of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” done as a piano ballad. It's an odd choice, but it works. The result is a warm album rich with atmosphere and subtle textures.