The Portland Observer
Written by Steve Robertson
Critics have likened her phrasing to Joni Mitchell and her voice to Renee Geyer. Her skills as a lyricist and melody-writer are in the same league with Sting and Stevie Wonder.
Her name is Bonnie J Jensen and her reputation for excellence with only rise with the release of this, her fourth CD.
“Shimmer” is an ambitious and wide-ranging work. On two tracks she employs a string section and on one she’s joined by world-famous Sydney trumpeter James Morrison. Contributing three of her own songs, Bonnie explores a highly diverse program of pop tunes by the likes of Sting and the Eurythmics, cool Brazilian-inspired bosssas and one wrenching, wonderful blues number, Mose Alison’s “Everybody’s Cryin’ Mercy”, that also boasts a searing guitar solo from James Muller.
There’s rich lyrical imagery and a luscious chord change in another standout track, Bonnie’s own “Without a Word”.
Bonnie’s marvellous voice is the key to why the CD succeeds so completely. Her skills honed by years of performing, the vocal trademarks are all there; the smoky timbre, the pitch perfect accuracy, the lovely way she controls the lower register. The songs are blessed with superb musicianship from Muller, Matt McMahon and Graham Jesse in particular, all of whose solos enrich the melodies. Throughout, “Shimmer” glows with a contemporary feel that was just hinted at in Bonnie’s excellent earlier CDs. This is a logical next step for an artist who clearly has a vision for her craft and knows where she is going. It’ll be fun to tag along for the ride.