Jaded Era

(Cage 'em Records 2003)Jaded Era - Invisible

In this day and age, any rock band fronted by a woman is, undoubtedly, going to see comparisons to a number of bands (from Garbage to No Doubt) and solo female singers (from PJ Harvey to Jewel). Those comparisons, a majority of the time, are too focused on one aspect instead of the whole picture. The whole picture with Jaded Era's "Invisible" is a modern rock album that lets you sing along as you rock out and sway along as the band's front woman, Kira Leyden, belts out ballads.

The album's title track, and also its opener, "Invisible," introduces you to Leyden's Gwen Stefani-ish vocals. One of the album's strongest tracks, "Invisible," is a poppy mix that is power pop rock for the memorable chorus. Darker and a unique track on the album, "Take It" adds texture to the song by way of its nonstop guitar part. Jaded Era then make a dramatic change in slowing down for the somewhat clichéd poppy ballad "Almost." "Perfect" speeds up and races by with its peppy and poppy verses and you can almost see a venue full of fourteen year olds jumping up and down while the mid tempo melody of "Jump" settles them down.

While the verses of "Don't Say Goodbye" sounds like The Police's "Every Breath You Take," the choruses are more up tempo with soaring vocals and the quieter "When You Go" has her sounding whiny while the vocalizing reminds of Jewel. The mid tempo "Sacrifice" that tries for power pop has more than subtle religious tones: "Hated by millions and loved by insane/Oh they sliced him right through the veins/Never bleeding until he did/He gave his life to the one he loved/He gave himself to his God above/He gave himself over and he was a sacrifice." Getting more rhythmic with a bass riff driving the catchy verses, "Only" returns to the poppy soaring chorus of "Invisible," trying to repeat its successive but not succeeding nearly so well. Closing with the melodic and slower "Forever," Leyden offers a final plea to "say that you'll love me forever, forever, forever."

With Leyden's strong vocals, stronger than Stefani's but not quite as strong as Harvey's, she shows a range on the album. The band seems to perform their poppy alt rock tunes effortlessly despite not offering any notable solos or anything else by which to pull them more to the foreground. Overall, "Invisible" is enjoyable alt rock that reminds you of a few years ago and gets away from the current electronic rock sound.