Jenny O.: New Truth (Mama Bird Recording Co.) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020  

Jenny O.

New Truth

Mama Bird Recording Co.

Aug 07, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

New Truth, the third album by Los Angeles artist Jenny O. (full name Jennifer Anne Ognibene) was written and recorded against the backdrop to an unexpected and cruel twist of fate. One morning she sat up and inexplicably found she had permanently lost the hearing in her right ear. 

It’s a misfortune that she seems to be fairly pragmatic about stating, “It’s fine, I’m over it. It’s just harder to use headphones now.” It’s also a subject she tackles with a similarly accepting mindset on album opener “God Knows Why”—“I used to be in stereo/I used to hear and now I don’t/I’m in mono now forever.” Ognibene often can be direct and not hide behind stylized sentimentality and it’s that straightforwardness that frees her music from cliché or pastiche. She’s a songwriter grounded in realism and rather than wallow she sees a problem and looks for the solution.  

That’s not to say frustration doesn't surface on this album, but there’s a sense of acceptance and of looking to introduce changes for the better. “Even If I Tried,” for example, is about eliminating toxic people from your life, whilst the graceful lilting “I Don't Want to Live Alone Anymore” examines the dichotomy of being alone, enjoying its freedoms but ultimately wanting to share life with another person. “What About That Day” reflects on a relationship that wasn’t to be, but is wistful yet realistic and vocally there’s an almost Karen Carpenter inflexion to Ognibene’s vocal delivery. “Not My Guy” is the highlight of the album and begins with a ghostly girl group melody before Ognibene’s towering visceral guitar licks rips through the track giving it a real sense of grandeur.  

New Truth is, in essence, a cathartic album full of sunny melodies that effortlessly blend psych, folk, and grunge. It is also a testament to the ability to bounce back from life’s slings and arrows and celebrate its minor victories. It proves that restraint and serenity rather than egregious caterwauling can be a far more effective method of conveying emotion and Ognibene’s honeyed vocals are a soothing calming and grounding presence throughout the album (


Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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