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Jen Cloher

Very often I need to hear an unfamiliar song several times before its charms or its annoyances become fully apparent to me, which is partly why radio has been such a crucial medium in forming and changing my musical tastes. If a DJ whose taste or knowledge I respect plays a track repeatedly and it doesn't appeal to me at first hearing, then I'll be open to a second, third, or subsequent encounter to change my mind about it. When exploring music on-line, there's much less likelihood of my giving a song a second chance it I don't care for it the first time.

Jen Cloher is a case in point. Her song 'Analysis Paralysis' had slipped past me a couple of times before it stuck its hooks in me. It sounded even better when I heard her band play it in a live radio session: soon after that, I ordered a CD copy. It isn't, for me, a perfect album - I love about half of it. Having said that, the first twenty-two minutes or so taken up by its opening four tracks is excellent stuff. The disc gets off to a strong start with 'Forgot Myself', then gets better still with my two favourite tracks coming back-to-back ('Analysis Paralysis' & 'Regional Echoes'), with the wistful 'Sensory Memory' being almost as good.

Out of the remainder of the album 'Loose Magic' is another favourite of mine. I quite enjoy the likes of 'Strong Woman' and 'The Great Australian Bite', but care less for 'Shoegazers'. The band combine to great effect, with guitarist Courtney Barnett especially impressive in her role as sidewoman.


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