Personnel: Jann Arden (vocals); Russell Broom (acoustic, electric, baritone & Mando guitars, E-bow, keyboards, Moog synthesizer, bass, loops); Mark Goldenberg (acoustic, electric & baritone guitars, keyboards, loops); Allison Cornell (violin); Rami Jaffee (Hammond B-3 organ, keyboards); Phil Shenale (keyboards, loops); David Faragher, Jennifer Condos (bass); Gregg Bisonette (drums); Mauricio Lewak (percussion); Dillon O'Brian, Ed Cherney, Jim Cuddy (background vocals).
Jann Arden's new offering has a number of factors working in its favor: a good sound, catchy songs, and a great title. Blood Red Cherry finds this Canadian songwriter once again exploring the ups and downs of love and the power of going to town with your best dress on. The album kicks off with a couple of strong cuts, "Waiting in Canada" and "Cherry Popsicle," before drifting into more typical relationship songs like "Sleepless" and "Never Give Up on Me." The latter song's "Never give up on me/I will never give up on you," calls to mind a number of familiar Top 40 songs, while the duet "Mend" seems a little too smooth, likewise destined for popular radio. One can never be sure, however, what will pop up next on Blood Red Cherry. "Best Dress," a fun, funny, and sexy rocker, doesn't show up until the tenth track, while "Another Human Being," the 11th track, has a striking chorus with a catchy refrain ("The world is falling apart/and I know in my heart, I don't know what to do about it"). Arden forms an agreeable alliance between likable pop music and the sensibility of a singer/songwriter. The production and arrangements are sharp, providing a nice backdrop for Arden's agile, emotive vocals. Blood Red Cherry will please fans and more than suffice as a good introduction for those unfamiliar. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.