Jane Jensen - “Highway 90”
You have to love someone who names her album “Comic Book Whore.” I like this album so much that it was tough for me to pick which song to post: I also really like More Than I Can and Luv Song; I’m sure I’ll post one of them at a later date.
Jane Jensen released Comic Book Whore in 1997. An art student from Chicago, Jensen’s CD booklet featured her drawings and caricatures. She was also a performance artist and musician who performed under the names Eve, Lady Vox and X-Ray Venus in the early 1990s. After she released Comic Book Whore, Jane toured the country as part of the spunk band (believe me, it doesn’t mean what you think) The Dolls before releasing two more solo albums in 2004 and 2007 (I haven’t heard either).
For some reason, this album always stood out from the other female singers I used to listen to (like Belly or the Breeders). I think it was because I felt that Jane Jensen was exposing a bit more of her soul than some of the other women in alternative music in the 90s (with the exception of Courtney Love, Liz Phair and Juliana Hatfield, at least in my book). The album starts out with the industrial More Than I Can (I never thought the line “I can’t stop laughing” could sound so haunting) before loosening up on Luv Song, the next song on the album. In Luv Song, Jane describes her ideal boyfriend (he’s gotta act like a maniac and never get hurt; he drives a four-wheel slim off road in the dirt) and you better believe I paid rapt attention to those tips. Jane’s aspirations and trials of love come through in later songs like “King,” “Dream Ridiculous Implausible,” and “Superstar,” which features the requisite mid-90s distortion.
The album is a solid effort, good but not great, but there’s at least three songs I keep going back to. Plus I think the cover execution is one of the more creative I’ve seen. Perhaps one of these days I’ll get around to checking out her other two albums.