Laura Jansen: Bells


Laura Jansen
(Decca Records)

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Bells is the latest release from Laura Jansen, a singer/songwriter based in Los Angeles who was born in Holland. Angelic vocals over cascading falls of pop-driven piano is the contemplative core exhibited here. The not-so-structural constant change in mood some songs possess is beautiful against the pop-infused notebook musing perspectives that delve into complacency, struggle and eventual victory that occur in relationships, love, and life. The breezy wonderment of piano adds to “The End” with Jansen singing, “We break the promise and we take it back. We move in silence, this is the end.”

At times Jansen reminds one of songbirds like Sarah McLachlan and Sara Bareillis, where yearning lyrics and unique voicing soar as visceral, charming, and all the while powerful. “Wicked World,” is a bouncy, pompous ode to the seedier side of existence where perfection is fleeting. “Soljah,” has a cool reggae rhythm and Jansen enlisting to be a soldier for love. Her piano-driven cover decorated by violins of Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” works  as a soft glowing cover that is delicately gorgeous. “Come To Me,” is a nice shuffling ode to calling for love. The rich layered texture of piano and accompanying sounds of drums and bass make Bells ring out much like the strength of a quiet yet commanding fire.

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