With three chart topping club singles under her belt, Erika Jayne unleashes her debut CD, Pretty Mess, onto the world. With a title like that you would expect comparisons to Lindsay Lohan, but her website compares her to Madonna and listening to the CD that does make more sense.
The CD is what you would expect of a Madonna CD circa Ray of Light with 14 tracks that are fresh with enough variety to hold your interest. While the majority of the song are upbeat, the CD ends with some scorching downtempo tracks. Kicking off the CD is dance cut "Stars," a midtempo number that gets the message across with beats to keep you moving and enough pop sensibility for possible radio play. If Madonna had worked with Peach Union and Shep Pettibone at the same time, this would have been the result.
Topping The Chart
Moving away from the pop side of the "Just a Phaze" and "Rollercoaster" are more Erotica era tracks. As more concept-oriented electronic tracks, you’d expect to hear them at an ultratrendy local bar with the buzzy bassline and assorted boops and beeps. Following the analogy, "Give You Everything," will catch your attention a la Madonna's "Bye Bye Baby" with its insanely catchy melody and hooky strings section. It seems almost too poppy for the rest of the CD.
A Touch of Worldbeat
With worldbeat percussion and a "Frozen"-like feel, "Time to Realize" is another quite unique track that stands out. Although "Love Song" is the only Madonna/Prince duet that ever surfaced, Erika's "Time to Realize" realizes what a Madonna song produced by Prince during his Vanity/Apollonia 6 phase would sound like with its sexy/playful vocals and 80s inspired electronic programming. Erika's "Run Along" is a groovy hip-hop number similar to the attitude and sound of Madonna's seductive "Secret."
Two other standout tracks are "Without You" (keyboard-laden pop ballad with acoustic guitar a la "La Isla Bonita") and "One More Time" (relaxing new age-y ballad with vintage Moby-esque piano similar to Madonna's Orbit phase.)
While it probably isn't fair to compare a new artist's debut CD with the catalog of an icon like Madonna, if the shoe fits... The thing is Erika Jayne's music does compare favorable, which says a lot. She is a modern day, videogenic dance pop singer who has the chops to put on a live show to match. Three club chart toppers shows that she has the dance world behind her, is crossover radio next?
Released August 2009 on E1 Music.