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Jessica Wolff: Grounded
Jessica Wolff - Grounded CD Album Review

Jessica Wolff: Grounded

Melodic Rock
3.0/5.0

Jessica Wolff is a young Finnish woman with an interesting curricula vitae. She practices kung fu, does stunt work for movies and television, participates in extreme sports, and offers personal health and athletic training. Did I mention she's also a rock singer who writes her own lyrics? In 2013, Ms Wolff released Renegade, mostly heard in Finland and Japan. Now she returns with Grounded on the German Metalapolis Records label, hoping for some broader international recognition.

Jessica Wolff Photo

Jessica Wolff

That success may happen, but it will likely be an uphill trek for Wolff. But she begins her second musical adventure with solid advantages. One, Wolff is a solid rock singer, with a strong melodic voice and presence. She's also a fine songwriter, offering cogent and clear English lyrics. Additionally, she's surrounded herself with some talented musicians to deliver her melodic rock music.

Yet, therein lies some difficulty. While Wolff has chosen a classic genre, melodic (hard) rock as her platform, there's nothing inherently unique or novel about her approach to it. Rather there's something repetitive and formulaic to her songs. Though they can sound different, nearly all the songs build upon a juxtaposition of softer moments against larger brisk, even heavier parts. From Reckless to Chase Me Down, Grounded to Arrow, Roots to Magic Castle, the songs sway from mellow to bombastic and back again. Another consistency underneath this arrangement is the notable dance beat the informs her rock groove. In this sense, Wolff is definitely aiming for the popular musical mainstream. If there are songs that don't follow this formula, they come with the ballads Under Your Spell and Saving Someone Else. Alternatively, for melodic hard rock, there's also something missing: some decent guitar solos. By my count there are only two, within Arrow and Magic Castle, which make them the best songs here. Fundamentally, if anything, Grounded displays Jessica Wolff's exceptional voice and skilled songwriting, even if those songs, at times, seem predictable and redundant. Only time, and reception by curious listeners, will tell if her fame is promising or elusive.



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The Bottom Line

Fundamentally, if anything, Grounded displays Jessica Wolff's exceptional voice and skilled songwriting, even if those songs, at times, seem predictable and redundant. Only time, and reception by curious listeners, will tell if her fame is promising or elusive.

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