Wow Wow WOW! I have to say, this is one of my favorite CDs right now. It's just utterly amazing. So, so good!

Cannonball Jane is the one-woman music project of Sharon Hagopian, an elementary school music teacher by day. She plays every darn instrument on these songs herself (including guitar, keyboards, bass, drums), and incorporates cool samples to create this awesome lo-fi electropop sound. It's sorta akin to Solex but with a stronger 60's retro feel to it, reminding me of Adventures in Stereo or Saint Etienne. In fact, Sharon even sounds like Saint Etienne's vocalist Sarah Cracknell --- such a lovely, smooth smoky girlish voice! And then some songs are more funky in a Luscious Jackson kinda way. So diverse and fun!

The first track, "Slumber Party", opens with a breezy cool Carole-King-esque piano riff before the synthesizer dance beats kick in. Very jazzy and suave. "Hey! Hey! Alright!" is just as fun a punk-pop song as you might imagine it to be with all those exclamation marks in the title. ;) "Taxi" has a totally funky urban hip-hop feel to it. And the cool thing about Cannonball Jane is that she totally nails each different style of music she tackles.

The only song that I'm not 100% crazy about is "Brave New World" --- it's got a rockin' beat and slyly references Mozart (!!!), but there's a weird sonic noise going on in the background that sounds like police sirens and it totally unsettles me. (Mike, with his keen ears and extensive retro 80's knowledge, pointed out that the sound is actually sampled from a Pac-Man game! Mozart and Pac-Man! How cool is that? But it still sounds like sirens to me...*shudder*)

My favorite song of all though is the dreamy closer "The Force of Gravity" --- it's just so gorgeous and wistful and lovely. So so good!

And if I may rave about this CD for just a little bit longer, I also wanted to point out that Sharon also recorded and produced this whole darn thing herself! And while she may have done it on a four-track recorder in her home, it truly sounds like it was done in a fancy studio. The production sounds so, so sophisticated!

Can you guys tell how impressed I am with Cannonball Jane?! Seriously, go go go and buy this CD from her now! (j.03.04)