Jamie Blake

Jamie Blake

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The alternative rock explosion of the 1990s brought with it a lot of dissonant, abrasive sounds, but melodic power-pop is something that never lost its popularity, which is why everyone from Oasis to No Doubt to Alanis Morrisette was selling millions of albums in the mid-1990s. Another rocker thriving on melody, melody and more melody in the mid-'90s was Jamie Blake, who at 21 showed considerable promise on this debut album. Combining her obvious love of melodic hooks with guitar-powered aggression, the Chicago native is power-pop personified. When Blake tears into hook-laden gems like "You Asked Me," "What You Say" and the single "Runaway," it's hard to miss the strong influence of Pat Benatar's vocal style. But Blake never sounds like a clone, and unlike the Benatar of the early to mid-1980s, she doesn't venture into hard rock or heavy metal territory. Showing Blake to be a worthwhile artist in her own right, this CD was among the most memorable rock releases of 1997.

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