Jane Child

Jane Child

Sporting a Mohawk haircut, waist-length braids and a nose chain, Toronto-born Jane Child cut an unusual figure among the female pop artists of her era. As her 1990 self-titled debut album shows, she backed up her striking looks with a defiant attitude and a complex, keyboard-based sound that grabbed the body and teased the mind. Musically, Child’s tunes are akin to Prince’s potent funk/rock blend; lyrically, her streetwise wordplay brings Teena Marie to mind. Both qualities are on display in “Don’t Wanna Fall In Love.” The rest of the singer/songwriter’s first album is dominated by bouncy yet crunchy dance-floor tracks like “I Got News for You,” “Welcome to the Real World” and “Biology.” She ventures away from obviously commercial terrain on the broodingly expansive “World Lullabye” and the dense, quirky aural collage “Thank You.” Despite her exotic appearance, Child’s music comes across as highly accessible and inviting. If her emphasis on synthesizers seems very much of its era, her feel for indelible hooks and suggestive imagery continues to hold appeal.

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