Janine And The Mixtape - Dark Mind

By Jake Ebdale

Released July 24th, 2013 - Warner Music

Expat Janine Foster aka Janine And The Mixtape releases her debut EP ‘Dark Mind' - a dreamy batch of enjoyable enough songs that showcases a deep affinity for 80s and 90s R&B. Now based in New York, the songstress has reflected her times of struggle in living in a home away from home -  the production resembles something of modern quiet storm, and the reverb is spread thick across the 20 minutes. Though a current, inoffensive sound, it also wears thin towards the end.

I've been interested in Foster since seeing a video of her staunchly covering Biggie's ‘Juicy' at a local showcase; sadly, none of that bravado translates here, but she's found other avenues for her artistry. Standout ‘Hold Me' is beautiful - it recalls Aaliyah, or at least Ready For The World. It's promising, and it's icy, and the vulnerability is believable as she coos "Baby don't let me down, I got a lot goin' on right now". The so-2013 production of the title track (a faux dub step break...and that bloody low pitched voice needs to stop!) is a step backwards, and finds Foster over singing to compensate. Still, any advocate of R&B in this day and age is a welcome addition to New Zealand music's ongoing identity crisis. Even though this Kiwi is based in New York...then I guess she can join the queue. A nice listen all round.

3 / 5