‘Carnival of Hopes’ by Jane Kramer - personal emotions shared and understood(December 07, 2015)
Once you deliver an album that reaches considerable heights it’s can be a big ask to get back up there one more time. To exceed the presence of her debut album 'Break & Bloom' was always going to take some doing but with ‘Carnival of Hopes’ singer songwriter Jane Kramer has achieved that and more. If her debut was Kramer showing her musical and vocal skill-set, then this one shows just how far she has come as an artist. If I were in the habit of awarding star-ratings for Americana albums then this one would get five, no question.
The ‘voice’ is there once again, living her songs and breathing life into lyrics that demand and hold attention. The themes move from the highs to the lows of life with the smoothness of shadows on silk. Kramer has an enviable ability to reflect feelings that mean something to the artist in a way that makes them mean something to all of us. These are personal emotions shared and understood. Want to go there? The power of her songwriting is there in the title track ‘Carnival of Hopes’, the heart breaking ‘Good Woman’ that hurts so much, the reflective ‘Truck Stop Stars’ and for me the stand out track, the honesty and revelations of ‘Highways, Rivers and Scars’ with vocals that take you places you know you share with the artist.
All songs on ‘Carnival of Hopes’ written by Jane Kramer apart from a deeply meaningful take on Tom Petty’s ‘Down South’. Album releases in January 2016.
Review: Tom Franks