Jennifer Hirsh, The Living Room [6/15/11]

Posted on: June 17th, 2011 at 11:23 am by

Jennifer Hirsh is a rare commodity: a great voice without all the diva pretensions. Good enough a reason as any to attend her debut CD release party at The Living Room on Wednesday night!

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Jen is well suited for the Living Room’s usual coffeehouse take on entertainment. The venue prefers their artists closely knitted to jazz and folk repertoire, and this may be why New York’s growing scene of Berklee College of Music alumni play here so often.

Another female artist blessed by the Adam “Tressler” touch, Hirsh’s growing oeuvre includes much of the kind of pop music you’d expect from an American Idol finalist (yes that’s right, this chick can sing). Power-pop ballads and singalongs are the signposts of her new record (Myself in Two); showing us all the places where love was lost and found, then lost again, then found after a little while, then…you know how it is.

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Mr. Tressler is more than partially responsible for her latest work, he wrote all ten tracks. A soft-pop songwriting ninja, Tressler has been lending his chops to many of the local female artists playing the Lower East Side circuit (Emily Greene, Karly Jurgensen, etc.), and his sound well suits Jen (though we secretly would love to hear her try out some country jams).

Overall, the set had its ups and downs. Sometimes things got a bit showy, but a lot of chances were taken, too. We were treated to the new track “Enough” for the first time, saw local talent James Casey duet a couple verses of “You Really Got a Hold on Me,” and heard some great girl-next-door banter ranging from “that was awesome” to “this is our Prozac song.”

At the end of the evening, everything wound up in the right place when Jen broke into the sweeping “Room So Big.” This ambitious song kept getting bigger and bigger itself, as she tried convincing her lover that more square footage was the answer to their relationship issues. It was brilliant to hear her repeat the refrain, but change it’s meaning each time it was sung (an effect which also works well in barn-burner “Scissors and Soap”).

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Adam Tressler did the heavy lifting at the end of the set, playing the kind of flashy solo that could have been lifted from John Mayer’s recent Trio recordings.  Jen then followed up by thanking everyone for coming out…all without breaking song.

Jennifer Hirsh is a young artist who knows what her huge voice can do…if only relationships were that simple!

-Written by Mike Levine (@goldnuggets)

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This image has been archived or removed.

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