Jennifer Tefft Band – Cutting for Stone
This album is pretty solid. It has a lot of bluesy rock built into it. There are some songs here that I like a lot. There are some others that don’t work nearly as well for me. Still, I think the biggest issue is the track order. Mind you, there is no particular issue serving as a detriment to this set. It’s just that the album would flow a lot better and be a better listening experience if a few songs were moved around to more advantageous positions.
“Rollercoaster” opens the set, and I like the hard edged blues rock sound on this thing It’s a strong tune, but I think the more powered up sections work better than the mellower ones do. There is a scorching solo at the end of this that’s a bit weird. It’s odd because at times it sounds like a guitar, and at times it sounds like a synthesizer. Whatever it is, though, it’s a definite plus to the song.
“Cooler Than You” doesn’t work as well for me as the opener does. It’s a bit too country edged and has an odd kind of chorus. That said, I love the prominent bass work on the tune.
There is a bit of an 80s rock sound to “Silence.” In fact, it really feels like it would have been at home in that decade. I like it a lot, but it’s perhaps a bit too generic.
Now, “Air” really loses me. I don’t really care for the styling of the vocals on the cut. It’s a ballad, and I think it’s a little pedestrian beyond those stylistic things. It’s also a bit too long.
“Let Me Be” is better, but it’s another mellow tune. It doesn’t make sense to put too slow, understated songs together when there are more rocking things that could have served as better contrast. It’s not how you allow songs to really shine. That said, this does get an infusion of hard rocking with a crunchy segment later.
“Follow Me Through” would have been a great choice to put between the last two songs. It rocks quite well. It’s actually one of my favorite songs here with a great 70s blues rock song.
“Too Late” pounds in with more hard rocking sound that is strong. It drops back for the verse. The vocals have a bit of a country edge at times that I don’t like. The music, though is a bit generic, but quite good. There is a nice balance between mellower and more rocking.
I like “Breathe” a lot. It has a real alternative rock turned Americana vibe to it. I tend to think that it’s another place where the order of the songs plays against the set, though. Since this is mellower, it probably shouldn’t have been the final tune. It could have been put between a couple more rocking songs to break them apart, and then the one of the rockers could have ended it with more “oomph.” Still, there are even some prog rock things here that really elevate it.