You Go To My Head
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Janelle Monique
Janelle Monique | You Go To My Head


When one decides to tackle the enormous task of a “standards” project, two choices usually arise. Does the artist try to maintain the style of the original or make the tune their own without tarnishing it?"Janelle Monique has stepped out into this risky terrain by doing the latter. Her debut CD You Go To My Head essentially showcases standards from different genres including pop, Latin, jazz and soul. In turn, the proof of the pudding lies in the arrangements where Monique and fellow Plan C member Oliver Miguel stay away from keeping things “safe”.

Entering exhibit “A”; the rendition of “Misty” and the following song “Dust in the Wind” start things off with an up tempo fiesta atmosphere. Janelle’s mellow interpretation of “Fragile” by Sting maintains his style to a degree, but adds a slight Latin twist and synths by Kibwe Thomas. By the time the Burt Bacharach-penned “Don’t Make Me Over” comes on, we begin to see Monique display a more bluesy style while respectfully not trying to pipe it out like the Dionne Warwick version. “For the Love of You” updates the Isley Brothers classic with a soulful, modern and aggressive groove, while Kamil Andre’s background vocals enhance Monique’s voice not only on this song but throughout this release. Nothing is held back for constantly covered “Besame Mucho” which is by far the smoothest song, evoking beach side and warm weather imagery. Like most cover albums it was too hard for her to resist doing anything by Brazilian bossa nova legend Antonio Carlos Jobim as evident in “Garota de Ipanema” and “A Felicidade”. Nick “Brownman” Ali makes a guest appearance on Thelonius Monk’s “Round Midnight” infusing a different feel to her vocals and instrumental sounds. The constant and glue of this project, along with Monique is Miguel who, as well as co-arranging, co-produced the CD and played many solos. Guitarist Mark Pellizer also deserves an honorable mention.

If one is expecting to hear a typical jazz standard/cover album, be prepared to experience different interpretations. Based on this project it will be interesting to see what Janelle Monique will try to do next.

by R.C. April 2008

The tracks
1. Misty 2. Dist In the Wind 3. Fragile 4. You go to My Head 5. Don't Make Me Over
6. Besame Mucho 7. For the Love of You 8. Round Midnight 9. Garota de Ipanema
10. A Felicidade 11. Save Your Love For Me
The musicians
Janelle Monique – vocals, programming, producer
Oliver Miguel – saxes, guitar, keyboard, programming, producer
Max Senitt – drums, percussion
Ricardo Lewis – drums
Kibwe Thomas – piano, keyboards
Sean Bellaviti – keyboard
Luis Guerra – keyboard
Mark Pellizer – guitars, piano, keyboard
Dustin Shaskin – acoustic bass
Andrew Stewart – electric bass
Lee Hutchinson – acoustic bass
Charlie Finlay – tenor sax, flute
Kamil Andre – background vocals, beat boxing
Annie Dewhurst – background vocals
Peter Dewhurst – background vocals
Jessie Roy – vocals
Peter Kim – trumpet
Nick "The Brownman" Ali – trumpet
We welcome your comments and feedback
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