Where are the Holograms?
by Sean
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


I'm a bit rushed tonight: Gmail Swap is blowin' up a bit, and I want to try to keep on top of it. Still - I've got time for you, dear readers, if you'll just spare me your ears.

Two tracks by Jem, a terrific Welsh singer who takes a tiny bit of Avril Lavigne, a little bit of Nelly Furtado, a larger bit of Beth Orton (or maybe Sia), and then makes the product her own. Finally Woken is a delightful, varied album - and she wrote and co-produced the whole thing. Terrific. [buy]

Jem - "24". Worked-up strings with crunching TaTU guitars and a beat that surges like something from the soundtrack to Alias. Subtle production touches - a muted bell, the flicking guitar-strings that open the song - give it an unexpected weight, a surprising dark pop power. I like the way the song's both strong and soft, a firebomb sort of tune that's could borrow heavily from the video for "Toxic."

Jem - "Wish I". Something completely different, much closer to the summertime feelgood music of, say, Sugar Ray. (and by the way, Sugar Ray = good. all you haters can go home and be frowny.) "Wish I / Wish I / Wish I was going too," Jem sings, like surf on a beach. A lap steel guitar nods along beside her, helping to wash all that city ennui away. This is a song that should have colourful straws nearby, a breeze in one's hair, sweetened iced-tea.

Posted by Sean at May 18, 2004 12:57 AM

The 24 song is very nice. Reminds me a little bit of Evanescene.

Posted by Mauti at May 18, 2004 9:45 AM

My ex liked Alias, so I can never watch it.
But Jem is truly outrageous! Truly, truly, truly outrageous!

Posted by forksclovetofu at May 18, 2004 12:03 PM

Jem's album is quite enjoyable from start to finish. What springs to my mind are comparisons to Dido, but a bit more on the 'groove' side.

From what I've read, Jem (Jemma Griffiths) wrote a song for Madonna ("Nothing Really Matters") before recording her debut album.

Posted by Robbie at May 18, 2004 12:21 PM

Jem was a stupid cartoon in the 80's ;)

I believe one of her songs was used in the season finale of The O.C. too...

Posted by brooks at May 18, 2004 1:03 PM


look at this...
because people are not so nice.....

you are a good man.

Posted by scandal face at May 18, 2004 3:56 PM


Posted by Kyle at May 18, 2004 5:06 PM

she performed on the OC, at the wedding scene during the finale. She covered Macca's "Maybe I'm Amazed", and to be honest it wasn't very good.

Jem is all over the radio out here (I actually do live in the OC).

Posted by music robot mark at May 18, 2004 7:03 PM

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about the authors
Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

Emma Healey writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This is her website and email her here.

Jeff Miller is a Montreal-based writer and zinemaker. He is the author of Ghost Pine: All Stories True and a bunch of other stories. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Say hello on Twitter or email.

Mitz Takahashi is originally from Osaka, Japan who now lives and works as a furniture designer/maker in Montreal. English is not his first language so please forgive his glamour grammar mistakes. He is trying. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Reach him by email here.

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Dan Beirne wrote regularly for Said the Gramophone from August 2004 to December 2014. He is an actor and writer living in Toronto. Any claim he makes about his life on here is probably untrue. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.

Jordan Himelfarb wrote for Said the Gramophone from November 2004 to March 2012. He lives in Toronto. He is an opinion editor at the Toronto Star. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.
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