Jasmine Cain is no stranger to the stage (or to BMM readers). She brings an energy and presence that is captivating, and her band is a finely tuned machine, that amps up the energy onstage to feverish levels. So, when the time was right to write and record “White Noise,” her latest album, while there were a lot of ideas that came forward, as she put it, “One thing was for certain, and that was that I needed this album to be a better representation of our live show… more energy!”
The creative process was very structured. Cain teamed up with longtime friend and mentor, Paige Logan, to get the process moving. While the ideas were flowing, studio time was booked so that they could get these ideas down, and in such a manner to hopefully avoid the curse of over-production. A couple of weeks in between to keep the creative process going, listen to rough mixes, etc.. rinse and repeat. Guests were brought in for some “extra” on songs, most notably Jeff LeBar (guitarist for Cinderella, who Cain backed up on the road) on “Fool’s Gold” and “Any Given Sunday.”
More songs were written, recordings were tracked, edited, photo sessions were booked, and time moved on. The end result was initially pushed back a couple of weeks from the mid-March release date, but as Cain says, “Thousands of hands have touched this project. They all put their blessing on it. Now we will put it in yours for you to enjoy.”
So, how does it sound? If you added ambient audience noise, you’d swear you were at a live show. The guitars are raw and unrelenting, the drums sound gigantic and heavy (and he hits those skins. HARD), the bass playing is solid and supportive and Cain’s vocals have an authority and edge to them that you only get when you’re on a stage. The song order has a definite order to it, picked with as much care as one would a setlist. The songs themselves show a range and depth that you’d expect from someone as seasoned a performer as Cain, and even include a couple of fan favorites (as a fan of her tune, “1995,” it was great to hear it in a more live environment).
Simply put, the album title of “White Noise” is a tad misleading. While the entire concept of the album “was born out of chaos… an overload of information that had to be sorted, simplified, and expressed,” the final product is anything but chaotic. It’s an album that you’re going to want to roll down the windows, crank the volume and drive a little (okay, a lot) over the speed limit to. It may have been born out of chaos, but it hits you like a sledge hammer. And you’ll keep coming back to it.