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A charismatic presence

Somewhere In Between
Somewhere In Between
By Jasmine Commerce

Self-released: 2008

This review first appeared in the April 23, 2009 issue of the North County Times.

A gorgeous voice and a nice turn at writing her own songs give San Diego's Jasmine Commerce a leg up on most others setting out to make a living in music, but those aren't even the most notable elements of her debut EP, "Somewhere In Between." What grabs your attention first and foremost is the larger-than-life personality that just pours from all five songs on the release.

Commerce has a charisma that infuses every note she sings, whether it's the bubblegum pop of "Fool to Fall," the contemporary French street music of "Ne Jouez Pas Avec Mon Coeur," the edgy folk of "The Book" or the pure pop of the title track. It's a bit like listening to a Cher or a Dean Martin (or the Jonas Brothers for the younger set): You're buying into the singer as much as the song. In her singing there is a warm, welcoming presence that makes you want to hang out with Commerce, to listen to the next song and the next after that.

That rich, lower-register voice doesn't hurt any, though, either. And the production by Escondido's Jeff McCullough is crushed velvet for the ears – every instrument stands out in pristine purity.

With five strong songs and the surest touch at singing heard in this county in some time, this debut EP promises further efforts from Commerce.