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Here With Me (Bonus Track Version)

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Album Review

Honest, literate, and straightforward, Here with Me continues Jennifer O'Connor's streak of mining the fertile ground between folk-pop and indie rock. She unearths twelve nuggets this time, from the intimate, fingerplucked "End of the Hall" to "Always In Your Mind," an immediately accessible pop/rock tune featuring harmonica, guitar arpeggios, and piano chords. O'Connor is a wiz kid with simple ingredients; she focuses on the hook and adorns it with basic instruments, adding acoustic guitars and la la la vocals to help highlight her melodies. In a world of pinup-worthy songwriters whose pretty faces often eclipse their voices, O'Connor carves a unique niche for herself — not only with her album's cover (whose image of two females kissing makes light of O'Connor's lesbianism), but with her lean, confident approach to the craft. Songs like "Landmine" are anything but bare-boned, but their use of atmospheric electric guitars and brushed drums are meant to spotlight the songwriter's talent, not cloak it in extra layers of sound. O'Connor's previous albums featured more rock songs than this disc, where the liveliest numbers reach a midtempo gait rather than a high-octane throttle. As a result, Here with Me is a cozy and wholly comfortable album, one that begs to be played during rainy days and Sunday afternoons.


Born: Connecticut

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Born in a small town in Connecticut, singer/songwriter Jennifer O'Connor (who moved with her family to Florida right before she started high school) was always interested in music. However, she didn't take her first stab at songwriting until 1996, after she had finished college in Atlanta and joined a local band named Violet. The budding musician moved to New York City three years later and decided to pursue a solo career, pitching her weary vocals atop a synthesis of confessional folk-pop and indie...
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Here With Me (Bonus Track Version), Jennifer O'Connor
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