By: Eliza Coolidge
Chase Desire, the third and most recent LP released by singer/songwriter Jeanne Marie Boes, is a complex amalgam of tastes. Indifferently, Boes juggles mild affectations of cabaret, blues, jazz, and a pinch of 60s Nashville pop. Though incorporating different styles, what incontrovertibly sounds is a muddled, flavorless palette. Within the ten-track album, there are a few shadowed peeks into Boes' potential, mainly in the title-track "Chase Desire," where she sultrily showcases the rich and luxurious tones of her voice. The production is, plainly put, strange — pop cabaret with a plinky piano, programmed drums, and synthesized horns (still waiting on the 30-second automated tap dance interlude). Painfully following is "The Closer We Got" which, if the title isn't already an attestation, is the composted waste of all love songs from the past two decades. At the turn of the second verse, the song transforms into a deficient 80s power ballad with all the victorious trimmings of synth drums and organ patches. And while "The Closer We Got" leaves the vestiges of power pop ailing in a small, ashamed corner, "And Paris Too" goes further to disrupt its grievous mourning with the likes of a Hallmark card commercial.
The amateur production of "Chase Desire" (which has me running rather than chasing) truly obfuscates the integrity of Miss Boes' talent. Her voice, smoky and deep throated, impressively coalesces a vast range. While the emotional munificence of her phrasing can at times border tacky, she possesses a truly unheard, singular sound.