Whitney Ann Jenkins and Her Platonic Guy Friends – Down Stage Left (Album Review)
Juggling multiple genres is no challenge for singer/songwriter Whitney Ann Jenkins, who adapts a chameleon-like ability to change colors on Down Stage Left, her latest effort with Her Platonic Guy Friends. Jenkins tosses in country, blues, jazz, progressive rock, and classical music into the mix, liberally reeling in elements from each genre. However, she doesn’t call attention to it; rather, such eclecticism adds spice to her tales of heartache and moving on after the damage is done.
The album opens up with the rootsy kick of “Break My Heart,” recalling Lone Justice in their prime. Jenkins has an emotionally unguarded voice; her feelings pour through her words, giving the album an intimate vibe. On “Naked Lady,” Jenkins invites comparisons to vintage Jewel with its stripped-down folk setting. But Jenkins is never predictable as “No Heart No” opens acoustically before rocking out.
Aside from her stylistic experiments, Jenkins is versatile with her singing as well. She continually plays with her words, conveying various emotions in a multitude of different ways. Her restless heart is incredibly appealing.