Americana Singer-Songwriter Janie Barnett has released her third album titled, “You See This River.” The album takes you away as she speaks about various chapters in her life. It is refreshing as she sings about growing up in Virginia, and working with inspiring musicians in New York and Nashville. There are themes of love, nostalgia, storytelling, and searching for your inner self.
Getting a little more specific, the album entails Barnetts inner search for artistic authenticity. It was heavily influenced by hardships in her life such as divorce, struggling to manage a music career and raising her daughter, and realizing who truly cares in her life. “The stories here are of the primal instinct for nostalgia, the beautiful and terrible journey up and down the river, the persistence, romanticism, and pig-headedness of humans,” said Barnett.
“You See This River”, the title track, is atmospheric, detailed, nostalgic, and inspiring. Soft percussion and acoustics compliment the song so beautifully. With a beautiful metaphor comparing a river to life, this song is truly a journey, with a soft ending.
“Buy That Thing” is a more up-beat track with some country roots in it with vocal stylization including harmonies, and definitely some country style guitar.
“Love don’t conquer much, it’s true but it can bring some comfort to this Thursday,” being just one of the beautiful lines in “Sweet Thursday.”
“Face The Voodoo” was one of my favourite tracks. It has a nice pace, and build-up to a progressive chorus. It includes a theme of fear, but bravery as well.
The overall production of this album is fantastic. There isn’t too much reverb in the vocals, displaying Barnett’s unique vocal style, which is similar to a mature version of Alanis Morisette, and even a bit of Bob Dylan at times.
“Walk It out to You” is so emotionally accessible. She opens up about realizing that her love isn’t right, and leaving. I cannot stress enough how beautiful this song is. Between the emotion in Barnett’s voice, the soft guitar, lyricism, this song truly has it all.
This album has a flow, similarly to a current in a river. It moves fast sometimes, slower at others, but remains graceful. From start to finish, this is an empowering and ardent album. With all the anarchy occurring in today’s society, this album is an essential listen for slowing down, reflecting on life, and finding your true self.
Her ability to open up through her lyricism with instrumentals that compliment the emotion so perfectly makes this album such an intimate piece of work. If you love Morisette, this one is for you. What a fantastic album!