Laughing in Crime is a pastiche of contrasting styles demonstrating Jana Heller’s tremendous versatility both as a singer/songwriter and as a musician.
Although it’s difficult to categorise a collection that comprises such a melange of musical genres, each beautifully arranges track is a joy.
Heller’s voice ranges from the powerful and strident to the sensitive and mellow, and is shown off to a great effect as she delivers brilliant lyrics, veering from the witty and whimsical to the poignant and reflective.
This is an album with something to please everyone, from the country-inspired Laughing in Crime and Hunger, the driving, raunchy rock of Mystery with its hypnotic repetitiveness and the strange yet infectious rhythm of Your Heart Can Sing, with its surprise abrupt ending.
I particularly like the more folk-oriented numbers such as Mirror and Love is a Temporary Thing, where Heller reminds me of a young Joni Mitchell.
All of the musicians who collaborated on Laughing in Crime are to be congratulated, but particularly Nigel Stonier who is responsible for its excellent production.
I thoroughly recommend this album and look forward with anticipation to the next. Janice Kilroy
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