Friday Listening Party: Erika Jayne's 'Pretty Mess' (and boy what a mess)

Posted on 07 Aug 2009 at 4:08pm

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This week’s Listening Party was all over the place which is not good news for the CD in question. I knew it was not going to be good when one LP-er mistook the singer’s name right off the bat. This week, we selected Erika Jayne’s “Pretty Mess.” Unfortunately, her name was mistaken as Caca Jayne and even more unfortunate — he was right.

The red flags came even before we listened to the first song. Personally, I don’t get preview albums with no CD cover (that’s our pic up there). Not only is it unprofessional, it looks so $.50 garage sale. Next was her press release, a one-page document filled to the brim with a biographical borefest and the Guardian U.K. quote comparing her to Madonna, Gwen Stefani and even Nicole Kidman.

While she has able producers Peter Rafelson (Britney) and Eric Kupper (Kylie) on board and Sheila E. guest appearing on “Time To Realize,” the album never moved beyond a total knockoff. Pretty. No. Mess. Totally.

See how it played out after the jump.

Special guest Chance joined the usual suspects Chris, Kristina and myself for today’s session. If you’re new to the Listening Party, I go through a stack of review CDs, invite a couple of colleagues and then we all have at it. Here are each partygoer’s thoughts as the album played out.

Chris: “Stars” sounds like she has some tequila drenched vocals. She stole Britney’s vocal filter. I like it because it sounds like Britney. If I were a stripper, “Everybody Wants Some” would be my song. She stole everyone’s shtick in her first five songs. I don’t think Jenna Skyy would like “Beautiful.” After watching the Apollonia 6 video for “Sex Shooter,” I like Jayne’s version better. I get worried when they have bangs.  The end of the album sounds like they couldn’t afford any background players at this time; guess they went over budget. It sounds like the background of a Valtrex commercial. “One More Time” sounds like she rented a wave machine and went to the recording studio at Six Flags.

Kristina: Slightly sounds like Madonna (Ed. Note: Blasphemer!) I love her misspellings (“Just a Phaze”). It’s so Avril 2001. Wait, is there whistling going on? It’s all kind of boring. She has an older sound to her voice. She could easily tour with American Idol. I think Paula would love her. These are all the same as the other songs. This is public restroom music. The last four tracks have been one 16-minute song that I’ll never get back!

Chance: “Phaze” is like the bad track Madonna puts on her albums. It sounds like the sandpapering of the sides of my ears. Brooke Hogan called, she wants her album back. It’s like she took the Billboard charts and remixed them into tragic tracks. This music is perfect for lame boutiques. I need a tab of E and a pacifier for “Pretty Mess.” If you have to say it (“Beautiful”), you probably aren’t. If she was a Spice Girl she’d be Big Lots Spice. I’m bored to tears. Somewhere there’s an FMO happy hour with this playing in the background. I’m not opposed to “Without You.” This has GOT to stop.

Rich: There is absolutely no originality here. To me, it’s all just noise. I’ve heard this before many times. I like the beat in “Phaze” but once she sings I lose interest. How do you get a record deal with a voice like this. Apollonia’s cheesy ‘80s version is infinitely more interesting than this. What’s with the lack of the letter “I” in her tracks. “G ve You Everyth ng” — really Erika? Really??

Jaynes got a Pretty Mess on her hands but not a good one.
Jayne’s got a ‘Pretty Mess’ on her hands but not a good one.

What’s worse, conversation drifted into topics having nothing to do with Jayne. Sometimes I had to corral them back into the party but that does say something. It’s one thing for an album to be bad. It’s another, and perhaps worse, for an album to be insignificant. Besides, Chris’ poo tales were much more interesting.

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