LATE NIGHT LAVENDER

LATE NIGHT LAVENDER

Saturday, August 28, 2010

JANITA: “Haunted”: Hauntingly Beautiful

     Originally from Finland, the striking New York City-based singer/songwriter Janita (pronounced YA-nee-tuh) Maria Ervi only goes by her first name. The woman who has had multiple hits in her homeland, received two Finnish Grammy Awards, and was voted “most sensual woman in Finland” by a popular magazine (at age 15!) is ready to gain a lot of new fans with her latest album, “Haunted“. It has been five years since Janita’s last CD, the jazz- and R&B-flavored “Seasons of Life”. For her newest collection of songs, the chanteuse experiments with several musical styles and moods. One thing, however, has not changed: Janita has one of the most sensual voices on the music scene today. That same breathy, sensual voice can also turn it out like a true woman of rock ‘n’ roll, however, when called to duty. The proof is the album’s kickoff track, “Do We Learn”. A real powerhouse of a performance, the bona fide anthem is full of passion and strength. That passion and strength increase in their intensity as the song progresses, as Janita confronts her lover with: “When you set me on fire, then you watch me burn… What do I learn?!” . Almost as if to offer a cool-down period, we get to close our eyes and enjoy the lady’s hypnotic vocals alongside soothing, smooth grooves on the next song, “Last Chance to Run and Hide”. Throughout the rest of the album, the singer demonstrates a nicely wide range-- especially with “Haunted”’s soaring, grand title track and with the quietly beautiful “Believe Me I Know“. “Martian”, the third song, is one of the true highlights of the CD. There’s a pulse-pounding, adrenaline-infused urgency in both the music and Janita’s delivery: Her distinctive voice conveys a mix of fear and fascination with this musical nod to our pop culture’s obsession with aliens (as well as vampires, werewolves, and all other creatures otherworldly). On “Hopelessly Hopeful”, Janita laments, “I look around for you, It‘s kind of sad I know; My friends think I‘m over you, But they don’t know; What do they know… Because I am hopelessly hopeful. Yes, I am hopelessly hopeful.” Oh my… haven’t all of us experienced that feeling at times? Maybe… but it’s rarely put into music as superbly as Janita’s scrumptious delivery, adorned by her crew of very talented musicians. The upbeat, jazz-flavored “House on Fragile Terrain” is another highlight on the album. The song features a smart, instantly addicting rhythm and a nicely playful twang to Janita’s soulful vox. It‘s musically accessorized to perfection by piano and snazzy percussion. “Out to Get You” is one of the more dynamic tracks on the CD: Janita’s voice is full of sass and attitude, although the star never loses her trademark cool restraint. For the finale, “Heal”, she opts for a sparsely adorned, minimalist arrangement to emphasize the song’s unmistakable spiritual message. The track includes some exotic-sounding percussion by Karsh Kale.

     Janita‘s “Haunted” is a superb showcase for a musical artist who is ready to conquer the world, one delectable note at a time.

     Visit www.Janita.com for more!

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