292. Girl Next Door – Saving Jane

GIRL NEXT DOOR (2005)

Saving Jane

Though the song Grace would appear on the follow up to this album (One Girl Revolution), this national debut is the superior album and contain plenty of Biblical worldview admissions along the way. Saving Jane’s lead vocalist, Marti Dodson, has been a outspoken critic of pop music’s abuse of scantily clad and brainless women and her music is far removed from those artists as far as the east is from the west.

I was working at a Top 40 radio station in Colorado Springs when we began playing what would become the bands only bonafide hit, Girl Next Door. I got a copyu of the Cd and it soon became the family favorite, finally knocking off FM Static’s debut for “long drive listening.” The more we listened the more we began to grab pearls of rock and roll wisdom coming from Dodson’s pen.

The title track is a great song that someone like Superchick would be expected to perform, an ode to the outcast who despises the cheerleader, prom queen (Maybe I’ll admit it, I’m a little bitter/ Everybody loves her but I just want to hit her). The twist here is that the protagonist realizes the problem resides in her own heart and not in the one she loathes.

The self-depreciating humor and self-realization themes are woven throughout the entire project. The expressions of loss are nestled in the struggles with bitterness and remorse. These aren’t love songs as much as responses to the loss of love (I’m so happy for you I could cry), especially when the one at fault is not the subject of the song, but rather the author.

Other songs deal with the difficulty of being a woman and struggling with the desire to be beautiful and a sexual object while rejecting the notion out of hand. These inner struggles are played out with such wit and charm that the listener is disarmed initially (don’t mess with imperfection).

Musically this is good old rock and roll with an alternative twist. Nothing heavy, just great grooves, smart lyrics and one of the great, unknown female voices in the rock world. There is a great cover of Jackson Brown’s “The Pretender” here as well. The album closes with a hidden bonus track that contains the most obvious spiritual content. the unnamed song is an a capella gospel tinged beauty of a tune. It is a first person account of one seeking for God and it rings true. The song gives God’s response (Why do you search for the answer you already know/ You say “I am the way, the light and the truth/Don’t be mislead by the flight of your youth/Have faith in the things you can’t see to believe/What if you had faith in me?)

Great band. Great album. I keep hoping for more and heard rumors of an itunes album out anytime now.

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