Few artists confront difficult themes with the intensity of Natalie Jean. Her work dwells on raw, downbeat subjects--so listeners beware. For example, she addresses her rapist in "I Told You No," conveying the psychic and physical effects of a sexual attack. "Heroes," despite its optimistic pedal steel guitar twang, tells of a young boy who is hailed a hero—after he falls victim to a shooting. Perhaps her most successful song is "I Am," showing her impressive resolve in the face of obstacles. We suggest her work would be even more powerful if she'd invest more poetry and craft in her verses, whose current spoken-word qualities sometimes feel choppy and ill-fitting amid her well-produced arrangements.
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