All The Love (EP)

Jennifer Harper

Independent release, 2015

http://jenniferharpermusic.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 11/10/2016

Jennifer Harper's interest in music goes all the way back to her younger years when she was pursuing classical piano in Washington, D.C. while learning how to play songs by The Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel. However, it wasn't until college while exploring dance, theater, and music that Harper realized her potential as a songstress.

Harper’s debut EP All The Love was inspired by the poet and activist Daisaku Ikeda, and it showcases the talent of players from the bands of Billy Idol, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Jackson Browne, and Rod Stewart to name a few. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“All The Love (In The World)” starts off with graceful keys before Harper's strong, unwavering voice tells a story of a vulnerable person deserving of so much more affection than they are receiving. It's a standard soft-rock song, with gentle instrumentation and an easygoing, innocuous sound. “Let Me In” follows and is darker, with haunting strings and a softer delivery from Harper. “Little White Lies” is a fuller pop song, with a pulsating beat and a more forceful template that builds into a cathartic rock song – it is easily the highlight here.

The second half brings us “We Belong Together,” a sunny, playful pop song that could easily make the rotation on an easy listening station. It then segues into the darkest moment here, the piano ballad “Not Alone,” which allows Harper's pipes to really shine. The album exits on an instrumental version of a previous song, “Let Me In,” which is just that – the earlier track sans vocals.

The pros here aren't hard to find. Harper has a great voice, both robust and flawlessly executed. She writes her own songs, a somewhat rare find these days. And the songs themselves are laid out well, with guitar legend Oz Noy lending a hand. The use of violas, violins, and cellos also greatly add to the effect of the more somber moments.

The cons aren't as apparent, although the inclusion of the final instrumental track seems to only exist to lengthen this short listen past the 20-minute mark. Lyrically, the EP is quite simple, and I get the feeling I've heard most of these lines worded slightly differently in other songs. I mean, how many times has the line “Everywhere I go, I see your face” been sung?

Rating: B-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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