Jodi Krangle – Time Will Tell
Score: 8 out of 10 stars
It’s a cliché, but they don’t make albums like this anymore. Jodi Krangle’s full-on invocation of the time when jazz vocalists dominated the pop music landscape, Time Will Tell, has superior production and top notch musicianship that one expects in this type of music. Her and the backing band closely adhere to the genre’s typical formulas and rarely deviate. The album is a mix of covers and original material, but the covers she’s chosen have marquee name recognition that call tremendous attention to themselves. Her voice is the central instrument on the album and the production highlights it accordingly.
It’s rarely highlighted to better effect than on a stirring cover of “The Water is Wide”. This intense performance pulls every ounce of feeling from within Krangle’s voice and the music responds in wonderfully complementary ways. One of Krangle’s greatest strengths as a singer emerges clearly from this cut – she has the rare gift of completely inhabiting songs she understands and “The Water is Wide” strikes a chord deep within her. “Sex and Chocolate” draws another side out of her, but it isn’t wasted with clumsy, obvious attempts at humor. Instead, the song succeeds because of its playful intimacy that stays close to you without ever posing a threat.
The swaying waltz of “Knowing” has a lyric that might seem coy and overbearing if the song continued any longer than it did, but the relatively brief three minute running time helps focus listener’s attention on the positives. Krangle shows tremendous attention to her phrasing and its impressive to hear her self-control modulating her voice in response to the music. Much like guitar players who never step outside of what a given song needs, it’s likewise a strong suit of her music that Krangle performs cognizant of her role in a song without ever overstepping it. “Motherless Child” clearly demonstrates that strength. While other singers might seize it as a chance to oversing in some misguided Janis Joplin impersonation, Krangle strains the composition with a surprising bluesy flair but never imposes her will over the song.
“Harvest Moon” is the album’s best cover song. This unexpected nod to singer/songwriter Neil Young and his early 1990’s country song “Harvest Moon” , a title cut to the album of the same name, succeeds because it confounds expectations in a way the earlier songs wouldn’t dare and makes tasteful use of studio technology to strengthen the track. Even refurbished from Young’s original waltz, the chorus rises gently and double-tracking her vocals give the chorus a needed touch of harmony.
Time Will Tell runs too long and follows a single path for much of its duration, but its merits are undeniable. Jodi Krangle proves that she’s among the finest interpreters of this music working today, but equally shows her skills extending far past those of a mere performer alone.
YOU TUBE PREVIEW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6W8AX5QKFo