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  • Jonathan Widran

CHLOE JEAN, Fairy Tale Fail

With apologies to Alanis Morrisette – one of the great female vocalists that Chloe Jean doesn’t cover on Fairy Tale Fail - on a number of intriguing levels, the title of the Bay Area pop/R&B jazz singer/songwriter’s latest album is truly ironic.


First, a part of her story she is keen to embrace as part of her journey is the fact that she’s triumphed over stage 4 breast cancer – and is the first participant in a clinical study at UC San Francisco. The next “non-failure” is the fact that the multi-talented artist has completely reinvented her sound and artistic aesthetic since releasing her straight pop debut Freak in 2015.

Feel free to check out the difference between her first go at the compelling original tune “Black Sheep” – an empowering call to follow our inner truth and shine our unique light on our own terms – and the dreamy, harmony filled jazzy arrangement kicking off this collection. Produced by and featuring famed guitarist Ray Obiedo along with some of Northern California’s top jazz cats (David K. Mathews, Marc Van Wageningen, Peter Michael Esovedo), it’s a winsome transformation which allows Chloe to assert her gifts as both an original storyteller (on thoughtful, reflective self-penned tunes like “Free” and “Where Love Began” and a clever and crafty interpreter who doesn’t simply re-imagine but fully re-invents in her own style on both well-worn standards (“Blue Skies,” “Cry Me a River,” “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”) and contemporary smashes like “Don’t Know Why” and “Bad Guys”.


She funks up Norah Jones big time while adding throbbing bass punch and dazzling vocal harmony textures to Billie Eilish’s intoxicating smash. At the core of everything, Chloe uses a previously used title (“Crazy”) to create a fresh narrative that allows her to poetically and humorously convey the joys and foibles of falling in love.

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