Jess and The Bandits aren’t exactly a new name to the UK country music community, with loyal fans, Jess and the Bandits have toured the UK non-stop over the last few years and have gained a lot of well deserved recognition along the way. With their debut album Here We Go Again being quite the talk of the UK scene, fans were eager to get their hands on the follow up Smoke and Mirrors.
Here We Go Again has a much more country feel to it than Smoke and Mirrors has but that doesn’t mean that this album should be glossed over. What Jess and the Bandits have done with this album is dare to experiment and explore many other genres and blend them within a modern country sound and I would say that have been successful in doing so.
A lot of the songs have various elements of cross over genres such a country/rock, stadium rock, pop, R & B and Euro pop.
Texan singer Jess Clemmons has a true power house vocal with a killer, slick tone. She sings with a lot of passion and heart and has a lot of energy behind her vocal which pushes through some highly impressive notes.
The album begins with the anthemic I’m Not Going Home which gives the album an exciting and high energised start. The song is so up beat and loud that you can’t help but be in a good mood.
Some of the songs I enjoyed the most include – Smoke and Mirrors which has such a wonderful traditional style to it which reminds me of artists such as Wynonna Judd and Reba.
The passionate Worlds Still Round is another favourite for me with a solid guitar riff and radio friendly melody which is of a mid tempo ballad. Jess’ vocals truly shine on this track and show a very delicate and story telling tone to her vocal.
Kings Of Summer has a very Jennifer Nettles esque way about it. It’s a fun- lovin’ , country dance styled song which creates a vision of a great atmosphere which will no doubt come to life in a live setting.
Sister is another favourite – the melody has a lovely 90’s type instrumental to it with a powerful gospel choir styled chorus to it. The song has an element of R & B to it which gives the song a more dramatic and power ballad feel to it.
Overall, Smoke and Mirrors is an enjoyable album, especially for those who are lovers of power ballad styled country music and fans of strong female voices.
Purchase Smoke and Mirrors by Jess and the Bandits here