Jennifer recorded her new LP/CD ‘Here With Me’ (OLE 787-1,2) earlier this year with John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth) at Brooklyn’s Headgear Studios. It’s a breezier, more upbeat work than 2006’s fantastic ‘Over The Mountain, Across The Valley and Back To The Stars’, but I’d be lying if I told you the new album packed any less of an emotional wallop. Jennifer’s songs have never before sounded this crafted, or hit the listener with such immediacy.
Backed by a crack backing trio of Jon Langmead, Michael Broadlieb and Michael Strandberg (and joined, briefly, by Hold Steady keyboardist Franz Nicolay), O’Connor tackles her most evocative pile of relationship-tunes with something approaching surgical precision. Over the past 6 years, Jennifer’s gotten scary good at this sort of thing, so much so that most other contenders for the hypothetical Nobel prize for Witty Pop Songs W/ Heart are either former members of this label’s roster (we’re thinking Manning/Phair/Daniel but if you wanna nominate someone more contemporary, please go right ahead) or they’ve already been embalmed in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.