(Critic’s note: In the interest of disclosure, I will say that I have seen Saving Jane perform more times than I can count on one hand… and I’m approaching the point where I’ll need to take off my socks. But hey, it’s my column. If you don’t like it, go read Rolling Stone and watch their columnists rave over some obscure band they think is awesome. At least I don’t wish I were Rob Gordon from “High Fidelity.”)
If you haven’t heard of Saving Jane… hey, it happens. They had some modest success with their album, Girl Next Door especially once MTV picked up the single of the same name for the theme song of their crappy “Tiara Girls” show. Five months later Universal Records jumped on the bandwagon and re-released the album.
Now, Saving Jane returns with a new offering from their original indie label (Toucan Cove, which sounds entirely too Jimmy Buffett to be real). The band managed what many whiny, angst-ridden rockers cannot manage: to walk away from massive corporate interests in favor of keeping true to their sound and vision. The newest album, “One Girl Revolution,” gives the middle finger to any number of media outlets (and more than a few ex-significant others).
Lead singer Marti Dodson is a rocker chick you want your daughter to grow up to be. Her lyrics are smart and don’t reference her ass (unless it’s in a “hey, quit looking at that” sort of way). And while the band might come off more “pop” on their actual album, a live show will quickly convince you that they’re not fluff (if the tattoos don’t do it, the harder, edgy sound will).
“One Girl Revolution” features a strong girl-power anthem in the title track, but it doesn’t stop there. “Say Please” and “Loser” have old flames begging for mercy, while “Better Day” and “From The Sky” are upbeat and make you bounce along. It even finishes up with a pair of “on the road/wish I were home” songs that every band needs for shows in the home state.
For any of you guys that might feel odd buying “chick rock,” get over yourselves. Any member of the band (including Marti, probably) could kick your ass. And while she spreads a fantastic message about looks not mattering, well… she’s not hard on the eyes. (I’m gonna sleep on the couch for typing that, so believe me when I say it.) This isn’t an album you’ll be embarrassed to own, like that Tori Amos CD you have in the back on your closet.
Song you should download on iTunes for $1, rather than stealing it for free: All of them. Okay, that’s not fair (or reasonable to expect, you pirates). So I’ll pick “Nicotine.” It does a good enough job of comparing needing a woman to needing a cigarette, that I considered taking up smoking. Which means I may have missed the point of the song, but still.
Rating: On a scale of 1 to 5, the unabashed fanboy gives this album 5 Che Guevara t-shirts.
(Don’t worry. I’ll go back to making fun of albums shortly. As long as R. Kelly keeps releasing albums, music needs somebody to point out the ridiculous.)