BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
The Beautiful Wild, the fourth album from Canadian chanteuse Jenn Grant, is filled with elusive charms and a bounty of unexpected twists and turns. Anyone who takes the time to give a closer listen will find it yielding rich rewards — the pair of incredibly catchy choruses accompanying “I’ve Got Your Fire” and “I Want You Back,” a wholly unexpected take on Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” that deconstructs the original with an alluring expression of dreams and desire, and a voice at the helm that’s sensuous, seductive and unfailingly suggestive.
Yet, it also can prove confounding. Is this a live album or is it not? The swirling concert intro suggests that it is, but the absence of any audience reaction seems to dispel that notion as well. A curious homegrown recording of the traditional “Green Grow the Roses,” circa 1958, adds further curiosity with origins unknown. But the most bewildering aspect of all is the intimacy that’s implied; despite a cast of thousands — okay, maybe a couple dozen — songs like “Michael,” “AIda” and “Hollywood” are marked by a measured pace and vocals that practically purr in the ear. For Grant, subtlety is key, but the payoff is plentiful.
DOWNLOAD: “I’ve Got Your Fire,” “I Want You Back,” “Hollywood”