Courtney Jaye: Love and Forgiveness

courtney jaye

Videos by American Songwriter

Courtney Jaye
Love and Forgiveness
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

It took two previous tries and a few unsuccessful run-ins with the major label machinery but Nashville based singer/songwriter Courtney Jaye has finally embraced her inner pop lover. On her third album, she goes indie and ramps up the hooks, sing-along choruses, guitar riffs and general ear-catching vibe to emulate a combination of the Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs and Sheryl Crow at their most tuneful. These ten songs fly by in just over a half hour, each one a condensed hit single waiting to happen, if radio played music this organically vibrant anymore. Hints of country with sweet pedal steel appear on the irresistible “Summer Rain,” as perfect a seasonal gem as Johnny Rivers’ identically titled (but different) tune or Seals & Crofts’ “Summer Breeze.” But although there are hints of C&W, this is closer to Fleetwood Mac than Dolly Parton. The performances were recorded live in the studio, adding a sense of urgency and a rootsy groove difficult to capture with multiple overdubs. Producer Mike Wrucke’s (Dixie Chicks) expansive but never bombastic approach focuses on Jaye’s expressive voice and melodies you can sing after the first spin. Albums that immediately feel familiar, even short ones like this, are difficult to find. But if you’re in the market for the perfect soundtrack to a cloud free sunny day, Love and Forgiveness is your ticket to a 30 minute smile.


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