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Album Review

On Surge, Jane Child delivers a tour de force: Almost every instrumental note is programmed, arranged, played, and/or sequenced by Child; every vocal note, solo and harmonized, is hers as well. The songs — all of them, needless to say, written solely by Child — range from hook-studded, medium-tempo, two-chord burners ("You, Bluebird") through beautifully constructed, dreamlike slow tunes ("Sworn") to haunting yet somewhat disconnected pastiches ("The Willow Tree"). For all her breathtaking command, Surge falls short on commercial sensibility, mainly because of Child's fealty to the keyboard-dominated approach that had legs in the early '90s but feels out of fashion today. Her vocoder dalliances and miniMoog basslines, which suggest Stevie Wonder on funk-inflected tracks like "Lootsville," contribute to the somewhat dated overall feel. On tracks built more around guitar, such as "Nice Day," the grunge crunches and rhythm comps don't quite blend with the electronics she scatters throughout the bridge; the energy remains diffuse until she switches to balls-out rock toward the finale. The same is true for power ballads like "Honey Mine," whose raised-fist attitude on the chorus is subverted by her affected, whispered singing and psychedelic production on the verses. Child's talent is formidable, her willingness to take risks is laudable — and the price she pays for it all in the marketplace with Surge is, unfortunately, predictable. ~ Robert L. Doerschuk, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Do what you do.

Jane's always been a bit of an enigma. Hard rock one minute, sweet pop the next. Maybe her career was slowed by lables not really knowing what to do with her, but her indie record is worth every penny. Let's hope she releases another.

Nice feel

I think Jane Child should be congradulated for sticking to the music that made her famous in the first place. Keep it up Jane the world will turn.


I found Jane's new CD by accident. Jane should do more public performances. I certainly would rather hear her heartfelt originality instead of the payola pushed pop etc that is everywhere. The real world would be a lot nicer if musicians like Jane were shared on radio and television. I'd like to know what these songs are about too. I believe that many may be waiting for that new album that was rumored to have been recorded back in 2007.


Born: February 15, 1967 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Dance

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Born into a musical family in Toronto, Jane Child took violin lessons from her father and voice lessons from her mother. Rock wasn't allowed in her home, but she did listen to an R&B station from nearby Buffalo, NY, and had hopes of starting a band. Child dropped out of the Royal Conservatory of Music to join a rock band in Toronto. Signed to Warner Music in 1988 on the strength of just a demo tape, Jane Child released her...
Full Bio
Surge, Jane Child
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Customer Ratings