Reviews of Potter & Clay
City Light News Review of Potter & Clay (by Peter Fleck, October, 2016, p. 15)
Faith Today Review of Potter & Clay (by Ali Matthews)
Crossrhythms UK Review of Potter & Clay
Arts Connection Blog - Review of Potter & Clay by Robert White
Dining with Donald (review)
With lyrics full of self-doubt, regret, heartache, and questioning, this album makes me cry, makes me cringe with self-recognition, and challenges me. It also encourages me with a confidence in the goodness of God and a banishing of fear- a reassurance that God does see and listen and that He seeks to find us even in the dark when we hide. Musically, this album has beautiful arrangements and vocals with a Country/Americana flavor. Set aside some time to really listen and think about the songs.
Garret Godfrey - Under the Radar
Review of "Let the Silence Speak"
For all of you who hurt - trying to have kids & it's not working out the way you'd hoped: this song is for you. It puts into words the fact that you don't have to have the words to say and God still understands the prayer of your broken heart.
Garret Godfrey - Under the Radar
I have to say that this new collection of songs feels, to me, like a bit of a home-coming—there's a lovely settledness about this project that you recognize in an artist who has come into her own. The songs are beautifully crafted and performed— the sort that draw you into that liminal space where newness and insight are sometimes found.
Read more from Steve Bell by clicking HERE.
By the time the first chorus of the opening song played I said to myself ‘Oh my - this is seriously good!’ Jaylene’s voice is mature and smooth with a hint of crackle that conveys the emotion and struggle of life. The album has just the right amount of push and pull with tempo shifts, mood changes with solid musicianship warming the centre and serving these 12 stellar songs. ‘Let The Silence Speak’ moved me to tears, a heartfelt song of comfort that God knows everything we need even when we can’t pray. And when we’re ready to sing, the title song ‘Potter & Clay’ is a perfect sing-along for the community of faith everywhere.
Every single note and every single word in this cd is magnificent! Love the songs, love the singing, love the production- and love the John Bailey mixes. Kudos to Jaylene and her creative team- this is a stunning album- some of her best work!
What happens when a pro songwriter converges at the point of faith, suffering and truth-telling? Potter & Clay is what happens. Jaylene has heartbreakingly and beautifully outdone herself at the meeting place of craftsmanship and the human journey.
Some artists surpass themselves with each album they release and Jaylene Johnson is one of those artists. Her new album is Potter and Clay and it's both a musical masterpiece and an honest, authentic record of struggle and sweet surprise in life. This is probably going to be my favourite album of 2016...
Rich, lovely and passionate! It's one of those rare albums that make the bad days better and the good ones greater.
REVIEWS re: OTHER RECORDS
The Winnipeg Free Press
Local songstress Jaylene Johnson has moved on from the overt Christian music of her past and fully embraced her pop side. Fans of her spiritual material shouldn't worry though -- they can still find plenty to like in these 10 tracks which are filled with uplifting energy and good vibrations.
Just Be is a positive affirmation of being yourself and not sweating the small stuff. The title track is an inspirational piano ballad. Grow is a bouncy finger-snapping ditty. Superhero ebbs and flows beautifully, building slowly to a giant chorus.
Johnson's voice sounds almost childlike and is an instrument in of itself, adding melodic flavour as it floats above the sharp arrangements.
The album ends with four ballads in a row, which halts the disc's upbeat momentum, but still, there is plenty of happiness to find here. (Rob Williams)
The Winnipeg Sun
Jaylene Johnson's messages and melodies are accessible enough to make Finding Beautiful enjoyable whatever your beliefs. The fact that her undeniably angelic pipes seem equally influenced by goddesses like Joni Mitchell and Sarah McLachlan is no sin either.
In a day and age where female pop stars are a dime a dozen, it's not extremely common that one comes along who makes you stop and listen more deeply- one who grabs your attention. Jaylene Johnson is just such a woman. With clever echoes of Sarah Maclachlan and Jonatha Brooke, she shines in both the lush ballads and more jangly rockers. Always cutting through are her clear, sincere vocals without all those affectations we hear so much of these days. Her songs are lush, sonic and take full advantage of every inch of harmonic space. If female pop is your thing, you need to give this one a spin.
Jaylene Johnson, a young artist from Manitoba, just released her second full-length project, Finding Beautiful, a fine and virtually unclassifiable record that delights and surprises at every turn. Alternating between arty, piano-based tunes and songs driven by gently strummed acoustic guitar, Johnson displays a wonderfully literate lyrical style that replaces direct statement with allegory and metaphorical prose. "Butterfly Girl" is a beautifully relaized tale of the joy and discovery of new life, given extra heft by a typically understated vocal by Johnson; her sweet delivery belies the well of emotion just beneath the surface. Along with subtle echoes of Sarah McLachlan, Johnson's music recalls some lesser known Canadian artists (like Nelly Furtado and Jane Siberry) who may have inspired her atmospheric brand of artistic pop. The sound is perfectly complimented by the production of Eldon Winter and Stephen Rendall, a duo who rarely fail to find the perfect setting for a song. A truly nice surprise coming from the independent world, Jaylene Johnson will appeal to those who are looking for substance-filled pop, but with a slightly different slant.
A breathtakingly beautiful album! it will fill your senses like a field of wildflowers on a warm summer day. Jaylene has a way of seeing hope, promise and beauty in the world without the aid of rose-coloured glasses or shackles of naivete. Finding Beautiful, is an appropriate title, and is a spiritually uplifting experience.
On this, her second full-length CD, singer/songwriter Jaylene Johnson has really hit her stride — delivering 10 pop/rock songs of delicate beauty and immaculate faith. Rather than sing scripture or set psalms to music, Johnson prefers to write songs as mini-narratives, using metaphor, allegory and straightforward prose to give her thanks and sing of her devotion. In producers Eldon Winter and Stephen J. Rendall, she has also found a pair of musicians perfectly capable of setting and arranging her songs just so — nothing feels out of place here. Jaylene’s whispery alto is front and centre at all times, while each tune is rooted in either piano or acoustic guitar but bathed in the sort of soft, atmospheric sounds which only augment the simple beauty of her message.
Bottom line is this - if I'd been surfing websites looking for interesting music I'd probably have passed this one by. And that would have been the biggest mistake of my summer.
This singer/songwriter from Winnipeg, Canada left her job as a flight attendant in 2000 to pursue a lifelong dream as a full-time musician. I'm glad she did—Jaylene Johnson could well be Canada's answer to the smart AC pop of Nichole Nordeman and Cindy Morgan. She's gradually developed her craft these last four years, sharing the stage with fellow Canadian artists Steve Bell, Carolyn Arends, and Jill Paquette. Her sophomore effort features the work of producers Eldon Winter and Stephen J. Rendall, the team responsible for albums by Paquette, Matt Brouwer, Jake, and Starfield. Like the music of Vanessa Carlton, Jewel, Chantal Kreviazuk, and Sarah Masen, this features progressive pop sprinkled with folk, jazz, and ethereal ambience. But it's Johnson's songwriting that deserves special attention. Too many songwriters today rely on rehashed Scripture and ideas in their songwriting. Johnson instead offers a personalized musical journal of freshly worded perspectives that are more devotional than introspective, with thoughtful takes on contentment ("Here and Now"), creation ("Wonder"), and an amazingly insightful and indicting response to worship music ("Only Have My Love"). Don't just hear these songs; listen to the words and music for a rewarding experience.
This is one of the most beautiful albums I have ever heard. The song Angels makes me cry every time I hear it. Wonderful songs. Thank you so much Jaylene! Karen Langefeld
Thoughtful, insightful, inspiring. Delivered in clear-as-crystal lyrics…Such a variety of topics and styles in one collection! They say most Irish songs are sad - but they don't make you sad; they draw the sadness out of you. It's that way with some of Jaylene's songs. Others cheer you up. And some just help you to express happiness. A song for all seasons - that's Jaylene. Thanks, girl! An admirer from the Emerald Isle
With Jaylene's beautiful voice she moves my soul through the heart-ful creations which are her songs, and leaves me with the feeling that I have been touched with her spirit...a gift indeed. Marcel Desilets
She is my new 'Janis Ian'. Fiona Joy Hawkins
Well, interesting really. One website search and 5 links later I 'found' or was led to JJ's Butterfly Girl. This caught my attention and I played the other tracks from the Finding Beautiful Album. I was so drawn and found myself really listening to the lyrics and I was genuinely inspired : personally and spiritually. I'm not easily impressed with 'Christian' music but this is so real and so genuine and obviously so grounded in personal experience and truth which echoes my own. One word - BEAUTIFUL. I'm thrilled to have received the CD. When is the UK Tour?
S L Hunt (from the UK)
Finding Beautiful has a healing quality to it. The songs are as consoling as they are beautiful and thought-provoking. Jaylene's flawless voice reminds me of Nancy Griffith in the way she enunciates, with that quality of untampered sweetness, yet still able to reach down deep and express all that's in there. I wake up in the morning with one of these songs in my head and I know that Finding Beautiful will be a favorite of mine for years to come. Nancy Kelly
Jaylene Johnson combines the talent for beautiful "old fashioned" lyrical poetry with modern hypnotic melodies A great Album and a rare Talent in the music business this is an album for the 21.century. Joerg (from Germany)