Maria review

Toronto Star - 2 Sept 1995
by Peter Howell and Geoff Chapman

You probably have to look back 20 years, to the release of Joni Mitchell's The Hissing of Summer Lawns, to find a pop-to-jazz transition as difficult - and as difficult to come to grips with - as what Jane Siberry attempts here.

Just as Siberry was gaining deserved international pop attention, thanks to 1993's lauded When I Was A Boy, she branches out into jazz territory.

What's good about this is her voice, which is stronger than ever, painting intense mindscapes in such songs as "Caravan" and "Goodbye Sweet Pumpkinhead". The songs, though, are another matter. In theory, Siberry's free lyrical style should be a perfect match for jazz players, but the connection is never quite made.

There are many moments of bliss between singer and band, but too many songs that float aimlessly away, in particular the 20-minute opus, "Oh My My". Consider this a transitional album for an artist who is still open to ideas, and still has much to say.