Janet Brooks – Skyline – Review

Janet BrooksJanet Brooks is a classically trained pianist that writes down-tempo chill music. Hey, that sounds almost like the female version of me lol. Having said that, I understand where she is coming from. She is inspired by down-tempo/chill-out/nu jazz artists like Bonobo, Nujabes, Thievery Corp, Stephanie Sante, Alex Volosnikov, etc. and has recently released an EP entitled Skyline. Here are some initial thoughts. First, this stuff is really good. My second thought however was, this could be better. Let me explain.

Janet Brooks – Skyline

Yes this lady is very talented and I commend her for that. The music she creates presents a really great vibe. It’s smooth, entrancing and easy to listen to while working on something that requires concentration or just hanging out while it plays in the background. I do think that the sound quality of the recordings could be a little cleaner and fuller. It’s strange that her music doesn’t sound like it was recorded on a 4 track, but if she’s using something like Logic or Pro Tools the quality of sound should be raised a notch.

HOWEVER! In her letter to me providing info on herself, she did state that she is new to production and that probably explains it. I encourage her to keep experimenting and learning about production and making sounds both louder and easier to fit into the soundscape she is creating.

One of my favorite tunes, “A Second Helping” is a fairly uptempo/down-tempo tune that sort of gives me the nice sentimental feeling I’m in a Charlie Brown episode. It’s a very happy and carefree vibe that is easy to ride along with. Her overall production is very good here and I appreciate what she is going for. BUT the mix is very thin and tinny and almost hurts my ears at times because of some of the frequencies created with the EQ mainly. Also, some of the piano sounds like it’s quantized. Quantization is good to tighten up some things, but unfortunately piano is not one of them unless going for a certain sound or feeling.

“Windward Flight” is quite a masterpiece in the way it was composed, but again I wish some of the production was just a little warmer. “Deadly” is probably one of the best sounding tracks on the entire EP for my liking and Janet does an amazing job at crafting it into an artistic expression, in particular in the middle bridge section where the instruments drop out and a cool drum-like section takes over. To me it’s reminiscent of Herbie Hancock.

I hope that you realize I’m not being hard on Janet B, just this is my genre so I’m trying to give as much positive and constructive critique as possible. Don’t get me wrong, this girl is great at what she does (composition) and she’s only going to get better with practice in the production/mixing realm! Hit us up on social media and let us know what you think. Also, hit Janet Brooks up and let her know you heard her music right here on Indie Music Plus. As always thanks for reading!

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