Music News

Mojomama

No doubt about it: Mojomama's Jessica Rowand can belt. Her vocals are steady and strong, and unlike so many of her peers, she resists the temptation to prove the power of her pipes by oversinging. All she needs is material that's worthy of her. Too bad Think.Feel.Love.Listen doesn't always supply it.

The players who surround Rowand are skilled instrumentalists, but they're too willing to settle for the sort of generic funk grooves that jam bands have been offering up in these parts since time immemorial -- or at least 1972. Veteran producer Bill Thomas works hard to give the tracks more variety and individuality, but "River" and the excessively earnest "Social Crisis" resist his best efforts.

In contrast, "Take It or Leave It," with its soulful backing vocals, and the punchy, straightforward "Real Thang" come together nicely for a very simple reason: They're good songs. And when Rowand's given superior tunage, her Mojo's all but unstoppable.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts