Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

Admittedly, I am a huge fan of Jenn Ghetto's music. Her work as one of the founders of Carissa's Weird, along with her first solo release under the name 'S', has provided some of the best material to come out of Seattle over the last five years.

The title of the first S album, Sadstyle, encapsulates the overall feel of Ghetto's music. It focuses on the painfully intimate moments of our lives that are only we notice as we watch our little lives unfold in ways we never expected or desired. Conveying such critical self-analysis is only possible thanks to Ghetto's profound songwriting ability that creates and sells the credibility of her stories in a way that makes the listener feel that she has a window into our own personal world.

S's most recent album, Puking and Crying continues to fit together complex lyrics with a powerful sound that is evident throughout the entire record especially on the songs 'Falling', '100x', and 'The Coffin of Your True Love'. More noticeable on this record is Jenn Ghetto's sophisticated song crafting that is most salient on '100x':

The song 'fades in' with what seems to be Jenn quietly reminding herself about something desperately important:

I promised myself I would remember it all
but it's all the regret that is lost in her room
Let me see if I can write this all down

And then the song this explodes with lyrics that include:

And this reminds me of two years ago when I first said this
When I forgot what it was like to have my life in someone
And I'm afraid to let you know that I've become obsessed with myself

Finally the song comes to a conclusion with the chorus:

When you make this hurt just 100x more
Before I could let you go, before I could leave it alone
When you make this hurt just 100x more
Before I could let you go, before I could leave it alone

S has added one important component to the group's sound by allowing Josh Wackerly to weave in his electronic influence throughout most of the songs. Josh's work is evident almost everywhere on the record but is most successful on 'The Coffin of Your True Love', '100x' and 'I'm so Bored I'm Going to Sleep'. The instrumental 'Metal Beds' was also an interesting addition to the record. Overall, the electronic sound complements the material and makes for a more layered and complex record.

Puking and Crying is a great album and will hopefully get a lot more exposure than Sadstyle. The electronic influence of Josh Wackerly adds to the complexity that Jenn Ghetto created on S's first album. A tour that is rumored to start in the spring of 2005 should bring a lot more exposure to this deserving album.