Janie May EP Review

Balance Me

Balance Me is the latest EP to drop from the mind and hands of Brooklyn-based Soul-infused Pop singer/songwriter Janie May.  Though a capsule of an EP, this collection of music packs a hefty punch with songs that cover the universally-felt theme of change. 

The opening title track starts with new age synths and a mean bass threading throughout and has a niiiice command to its beat sitting right in the middle of funky and mellow.  May’s vocals pleasantly harness an attitude that is not brash but is in your face enough that you hear her reason behind the lyric.  The storyline of the track is about finding your balance be it in life, love, or internal, the lyrics sing: 

Find a way to match the lock with the key 

And bring a balance back to me 

The past is present 

The future is now 

We found the path 

Now show us how 

The past is present 

The future is now 

We found the path 

Now show us how 

Come on, won’t you balance me? 

Calibrate my energy 

Ch-check my stability 

B-b-b-b-b-balance me 

The production effect placed on May’s vocal endings gives that mental reflection vibe – that afterthought.  And, the way that May balances the push and pull of her lyrical flow is awesome – she’s in and she’s out.  

Following this cut is its counterpart – the Beat Disciples’ remix of the title track.  This would be the “B” side to the 45 record.  The one that the fans flip to in order to level up and turn up.  Club-ready, this remix is on point and hits all of the right notes.  There is no redundancy.  And even though “Balance Me” in its original state has a nice bounce that makes it danceable, the Beat Disciples’ remix is a smokin ride of sound effects, emotive lyric tempo, and hard-hitting dance beats.   

The third track is “Some of These Days” a guitar-heavy track that is a bit more edgy in its execution than the previous tracks.  May slows things up a bit but still has that drive.  The message in the music is about doing a reality check on life to give clarity of life in the present moment – the lyrics sing: 

In this world 

It’s so hard to know 

Who’s the real deal 

And who’s gonna up and go 

All that glitters no it ain’t gold 

Some things aren’t what they seem 

Maybe it paints a pretty picture 

But it still doesn’t look right to me 

Some of these days 

I can’t take 

Some of these days 

It all seems so fake 

Yet time 

Time reveals 

Who sticks around 

And who stays 

Only if it’s easy 

The lyrics paint a wonderful picture of how facing reality and knowing the difference between real and fake helps in adapting through life.  The mellow Pop Soul song is meditative in its melody.   May’s vocal register is lower but so infectious on this track. 

Closing the EP is “Some of These Days - the Beat Disciples Remix.”  Again, the danceability is present, yet on this remix, a fresh new arrangement is introduced, and I like it!  Also, additional instrumentation is highlighted that awakens a new feel to the original track – it plays more subtle and otherworldly. The play on the vocals with FX adds texture but does not become monotonous – it memorable. 

Zac Fuller does an excellent job in producing the Balance Me EP – his fingerprint is heard throughout the EP and makes the music magnetic in that it stays with you, and original, in that it pushes the boundaries – his vision complemented May’s lyrical story wonderfully.  

When the pendulum shifts from childhood to adulthood, or from any standard way of living to another new normal (as is the case with COVID-19) it is good to stay calm, pause, and put on a reflective collection of music – and that is exactly what May has created for her listening audience.  

CONNECT WITH JANIE MAY: 

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