Released on July 12, 2011
Rating: 3.75 out of 5
1. How To Unring a Bell (written by Thom Bell & Nikki Jean)
2. Steel & Feathers (Don’t Ever) (written by Bob Dylan & Nikki Jean)
3. La Di Da Di Da (written by Luigi Creatore & Nikki Jean)
4. My Love (written by Lamont Dozier & Nikki Jean)
5. Pennies In a Jar (written by Burt Bacharach & Nikki Jean)
6. What’s a Girl Supposed to Do? (written by Jeff Barry & Nikki Jean)
7. Rockaway (written by Carole King & Nikki Jean)
8. Million Star Motel (ft. Lupe Fiasco x Black Thought) (written by Bobby Braddock & Nikki Jean)
9. Patty Crash (written by Paul Williams & Nikki Jean)
10. China (written by Jimmy Webb & Nikki Jean)
11. Mercy Of Love (written by Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil and Nikki Jean)
12. Sex, Lies & Sunshine (written by Carly Simon & Nikki Jean)
You might remember Nikki Jean from her work with Lupe Fiasco on the track Hip Hop Saved My Life.
I had an opportunity to see Nikki Jean open for Mayer Hawthorne last year in Boston and I instantly became a fan. The girl has something special for sure. That’s why I’m so glad she finally got a chance to actually release this album after being dropped from Columbia Records last year.
Aside from being incredibly talented herself, Nikki Jean had an unheard of amount of star power to help on this album. The stars include such greats as Carole King, Bob Dylan, Burt Bacharach, Black Thought, Lupe Fiasco, and Carly Simon.
Track By Track Review:
How To Unring A Bell – This is a nice way to open up the album. This song has a very cool sound to it without a lot of different sounds and Nikki’s chorus just sort of floats over the music flawlessly.
Steel And Feathers (Don’t Ever) – This song has a slower more folk sound to it. Not surprisingly this is the song Bob Dylan cowrote.
La Di Da Di Da – This is a great feel good song for the summer. The chorus just gets caught in your head.
My Love – This is a nice upbeat finger snapping track. The music definitely fits Nikki’s style very well and the result is a great song.
Pennies In A Jar – The song has an interesting sound to it. It almost sounds like it belongs in a musical.
Whats A Girl Supposed To Do – This is definitely one of the finer tracks on the album. I heard Nikki sing this live and you could tell it was a song she was very proud of.
Rockaway – Carole King’s help on this track is apparent right off the bat. You can almost imagine Carole King singing this song back in the day.
Million Star Motel (Feat Lupe Fiasco & Black Thought) – Having Lupe Fiasco on this album was a no brainer and Black Thought was just an added bonus. All three perform very nicely together.
Patty Crash – This is the type of song that sets Nikki apart from most of the other stuff coming out these days. Musically its a fun song, I think I even heard a Tuba in there.
China – A slower song with a unique sound and concept to it.
Mercy Of Love – Another slower song with a beautifully written chorus. This is one of my favorite songs on the album.
Sex, Lies and Sunshine – A great way to end the album on a high note.
This album has a real classic feel to it while remaining refreshingly new. I would definitely recommend checking out Pennies in a Jar. Nikki Jean’s a great artist with a lot of talent and a bright future.
I was a little bummed the song Faithful didn’t make the album because I think it’s one of her best. Nikki told me via twitter that the song wasn’t eligible because it wasn’t a cowrite. Anyways here’s the song for anyone whose interested.