Jodi Sheeler

Jodi Sheeler

Independent release, 1999

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Jodi Sheeler either wants to be the next Natalie Merchant or the next Joni Mitchell. I haven't decided yet which path she's really trying to follow - nor has she, for that matter.

Sheeler's self-titled eight-song indie release features some interesting songs which demonstrate this New Yorker has promise, though sometimes the stream-of-consciousness lyrics get in the way of what she's trying to accomplish.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Sheeler's vocals seem to be still developing, though there's enough power in them already to suggest quite a bit of hopeful promise. The breathless pain she emotes on "How Could You Let Me Go" indicates the wounds are still very much fresh, though the healing process has yet to really take hold. Sheeler convincingly plays the role of a jilted lover in this song, the role assured by her emotion-filled vocals. The fact that only Sheeler's acoustic guitar backs her up also works to the song's advantage.

Other tracks on Jodi Sheeler have the same kind of emotional punch. "Best Friend Kristen" is a light-hearted look back at childhood innocence and the bond between two friends who share common experiences. "No Regrets" has the most emotional punch to my ears, daring the listener to take a look back at their own lives and examine the things they don't want to. When Sheeler sings "Here's to no regrets," she's challenging the listener to discover what they wish they'd done differently with their lives - though whether this was a conscious decision on Sheeler's part, I don't know.

Not everything on Jodi Sheeler works as well, though, and these minor stumbles picture an artist who is still honing her talents. Tracks like "Follow A Fool," "Blackeyed Susan" and "Time And Again" have their moments, but do not carry the same power that the winning tracks do. Likewise, "Farther" has hints of promise, but here is where the stream-of-consciousness style of Sheeler's vocals fail to deliver the payload. What she could have done different, I don't know.

Still, Jodi Sheeler is a disc which makes me curious to see what this young woman has ahead of her. She still has some development to undergo musically, but this release could just be the start of something potentially promising for her.

Rating: B-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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