Reviewed by Julian Wilson

Jessa Young/Orange Roses

Jessa Young skirts the boundary between pop and electronica, between Adult Contemporary and folk as well. Like Kate Bush or Bjork, she is an artist that honestly cannot be placed into a specific corner; she is neither here nor there. What she does have is quite an elegant voice, one that is organic yet ethereal, dreamy yet grounded in reality. She’s a quirky mixture of polar opposites, and that’s what makes Orange Roses among the year’s most peculiar and continuously engaging discs.

The driving piano rhythms of “Fairytale” and the title track do recall a certain Tori Amos in mind; however, Young doesn’t have Amos’ melancholia, and we are grateful for that because there are too many Amos-alikes at it is. There are moments, too, especially when her singing soars, that she is reminiscent of Kate Bush. The enigmatic “Lady of the Lake” opens with an atmospheric spoken-word intro that evolves into the mellow, moody electronica that Bjork specializes in. But there is a Celtic flavor to Young’s singing that makes the material fresh and alive.