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Review - Moon and the Morning After
12 November, 2005
Rootstime (Belgium) - Freddy Celis (translated by Jos Jans)

4.5 STARS (out of five)

"Sexy, smooth, sultry, well-trained yet twangy. . . a voice that's uniquely pretty and strong. Songs that blend Americana, folk, old country and rock." (CD Baby). As this made us very curious we decided to have a closer look at and it was a real surprise for us to find out that this beautiful girl is turning the head of many men, and who knows what else, since quite some time. As we are mainly interested in her album (a white lie) we resist this (very beautiful temptation) and we murmur like the priest the well-known words “lead us not into temptation” and “Oh God, what a body” (i.s.o. the body of Christ). But as usual we will have to line up with all her admirers. After her previous five albums of which 15,000 copies have been sold and 12 (!) Detroit Music Awards (acoustic/folk, country, pop/rock), here earliest fans will be the first to get a date. Life is a battle field and the Michigan girl seems to have won the battle… Jill Jack has all the makings of a major talent. She's got the stage presence, the voice, the ability to interpret songs passionately ... there's a lot of soul in what she does ..." (Billboard Magazine) Or in other words ... I came, I saw, I conquered ... and we even didn’t watched/listened to her. Fortunately she describes "Moon and the Morning After" as "her most personally focused record ever-the truest material I have ever written-it's all from my heart" and it is labelled as "the strongest Americana album Jill has produced and recorded to date.” Time will tell whether these are just nice wordings from the press kit as the gap in our cultural education does not allow us to compare with here previous albums. It will however encourage us to close “that” gap as soon as possible because she quickly captured our hearts with the opener "Find My Way Home", the closing song " Fallen, a love song" and the roots rockers "Virgil Greene" and "Runnin". It can be compared to Nathalie Merchant, Sheryl Crow, Melissa, Emmylou, folk, rock, country. This can’t go wrong anymore and the promised Americana content increases throughout the album. We get a good deal of dobro, mandolin, piano in the magnificent “Do I Dare”, the divine “Roamin” and the nearly extraterrestrially beautiful "Bus Don't Stop Here”. Moreover she seems to be born on 8/1(January 8th) and that is exactly the same day that King Elvis could blow out the candles on his birthday cake … (although he breathed his last on 16/8/1977(August 16th)). Reason enough to pay a rocking homage to this well-upholstered Michelin look-alike who once made half of the world go off in a swoon with his well trained body and rock & roll songs. ("Gettin' On in Memphis"). "Her voice can soar like opera and smoke like the blues ... one of the strongest voices in Detroit or in the country for that matter" (the Detroit Free Press) and for those that still have doubts just listen to a good portion of Memphis blues in “Drink the Dust” or the raw, unpolished and with screaming guitars “What is About Us”. This we can’t ignore… 5-0 and with her sixth album that clearly can be seen as her own magnificent “Own Parade” Jill Jack & band has shown us all aspects of Americana … tired but very satisfied … this is top-class.

read the original review in Dutch

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