Jean Synodinos (pronounced sin-uh-DEE-nus) slips from folk to pop to jazz to blues and more to create dynamic live performances and recordings that make audiences ask for more. A Top 10 Finalist for Best Songwriter and Best Folk Act in the 2015 Austin Music Awards, Jean’s fourth album, “love & blood”, is now a multi-media digital album available for download to the world via a dedicated website, loveandblood.org. The songs, artwork, essays, videos, and more are a love letter to her artistic collaborator and ex-husband of almost a decade, Charles Rieser, who died in December 2014.
Jean Synodinos’ music and lyrics meld into a seamless, living, breathing whole – taking on a magical essence that’s greater than the sum of its parts. And those parts are some of the most brilliantly advanced and artful musings you will find in popular music.
The entire album seduces me. Her meaningful lyrics are veritable experiences one can become lost in, filled with thought-provoking relevance; at once painful, at once poignantly beautiful. The music supports her storytelling, bursting with rich imagery, while the sound of her voice alone makes me swoon.
Jean’s lyrics, melodies and chords all soar to celestial heights while the rhythms of her guitar keep the whole thing anchored. One could depict this – like much of the album – as at once both cosmic and earthy. Her “End of the World” can give me a lump in my throat, but that’s no matter, since “The Morning Does Not Suit Your Eyes” (which ranks among the most intoxicatingly emotive songs I know), is a track that could easily reduce me to tears.
Jean Synodinos is an artist of the highest order. Words elude me when attempting to describe what I feel when I listen to her music. She reaches deep inside of me – and I’m never quite sure how much deeper she had to dig into herself to write these songs, which are profound personal reflections of a life lived, and not abstract impressions by a simple songwriter. This recording shows that she is an artist to be reckoned with, both as a songwriter and a performer.
There’s a simple reason for that. It’s clear that she lives and breathes art; she pours her heart and soul into everything she does, be it painting, writing or composing. The entire “love & blood” project proves my point beyond any reasonable doubt. I have been working in this industry for longer than I can remember, and cannot think of any one album, indie or major, presented so exhaustively and meticulously in all of its facets.
Often, in the past, I have used the phrase ‘a labor of love’…rather in vainly I might add, considering what Jean Synodinos has produced with this project, dedicated to Charles Rieser, her ex-husband who died of alcoholism.
Everything about this recording is incredible – from how this project started to the very last note of the last song. I’ve heard hundreds of end-of-relationship-songs, and ten times as many heartbreaking stories, but “love & blood” is different. It’s never over-sentimental or even melodramatic.
It goes beyond. Into a dimension most couples never even begin to explore while being married, let alone after they’re divorced. Jean has dared to go there and courageously reflect on her experiences…aloud!
By now you would have noticed that I haven’t spent one single word about any individual song. That’s because I don’t have to. The 8 songs that make up “love & blood” well and truly speak for themselves.
Track by track explanations and literary dissections by third parties are superfluous when an art form reaches this affecting level, and when the artist herself has contemplated every possible aspect. However having said that, if you have ever loved and lost, you will be hard pressed to find another album as emotionally engaging as “love & blood”.