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GARDNER/JAMES Synergy

By Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Corespondent
Monday, July 27, 2020 @ 11:02 AM


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GARDNER/JAMES
Synergy

Pavement Entertainment




From standing on the edge of a broken heart after taking her permanent leave of absence as long-time vocalist/guitarist for foxy 80’s glam metal quartet VIXEN a little over a year ago after three decades and three studio albums to focus on her family, her solo career and her dental hygienist practice, Janet Gardner has made a name for herself outside of her best-known music role.

Starting with her on-off solo artist career with her 2017 self-titled debut which featured her current partner/husband Justin James as producer (and known for his production work with STAIND, COLLECTIVE SOUL and TYKETTO) while she handled pretty much all of the instruments, Gardner and James have since made a solo side project a full-time effort with the release of Synergy, Gardner’s third solo album overall but her first album to credit Justin’s own collaborative work alongside her own.

Opening with the driving single “Wounded”, which makes for the perfect revengeful love-done-wrong type of unrequited breakup song, complete with a pounding rhythm and driving riffs, Gardner retains her signature voice from 30+ years on and showcases her multi-talented skills from guitar playing to covering parts of the rhythm section. In fact, most of the album maintains VIXEN’s previous party rock anthem spirit and vibe, as songs such as ”Gone”, “You Can Kiss This”, the closing garage-rock-sounding number “Talk To Myself” and “Lonely We Fight”Miranda Lambert wished she’d written. “I Promise” is more of an upbeat positive number with an assurance of commitment to one’s other half, and could even be attributed to Gardner’s late bandmate Jan Kuehnemund despite their relationship and friendship at one point being fraught with lawsuits and at risk of fragmenting entirely. “On A Wire” also further showcases Gardner’s trained ear for a melodic hook, even comparable in tone to VIXEN’s other well-known hit “How Much Love”. “Rise Up” is perhaps the album’s most empowering-sounding song throughout the whole album and could also be a perfect homage to the legacy of Jan Kuehnemund.

In summary, Synergy showcases both Janet Gardner’s signature style during her time with VIXEN as well as her newfound gift for creating her own individual sound. As the title suggests, sometimes the results can come from the most unlikely source of inspiration.

4.5 Out Of 5.0

https://www.janetgardnermusic.com/
https://www.facebook.com/JanetGardnerofficial/






















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