Down to Earth (Jem album)

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Down to Earth
Studio album by Jem
Released 16 September 2008
(see release history)
Recorded 2006 – 2008 in Detroit and Los Angeles
Genre Trip hop, electronica, pop rock, folk, new wave
Length 48:24 (CD version)
52:00 (with iTunes bonus track)
Label ATO
Producer Jem, Greg Kurstin, Lester Mendez, Jeff Bass, Mike Bradford, Kevin Beber
Jem chronology
Finally Woken
(2004)
Down to Earth
(2008)
Singles from Down to Earth
  1. "It's Amazing"
    Released: 3 June 2008
  2. "Crazy"
    Released: 26 August 2008
  3. "And So I Pray"
    Released: 26 May 2009
  4. "I Want You To..."
    Released: 26 October 2009
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
ArtofRhyme (3.75/5)[2]
Billboard (positive)[3]
Digital Spy 2/5 stars[4]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[5]
MusicOMH.com 2/5 stars[6]
Paste (61/100)[7]
The Phoenix 2.5/4 stars[8]
The Times 2/5 stars[9]

Down to Earth is the second studio album by Jem, the follow-up to her successful 2004 debut, Finally Woken. The first single, "It's Amazing", was featured on the soundtrack to the Sex and the City movie. In August 2008, "Crazy" was released as a single on iTunes and other digital music outlets. By January 2009, "Keep on Walking" was distributed as a free iTunes download at US Starbucks stores.

The press release states that Jem co-wrote the album with a variety of people including Jeff Bass, Lester Mendez and Greg Kurstin and sings in Japanese on the track, "Aciiid!". The album also includes a collaboration with South African singer-songwriter and poet-activist Vusi Mahlasela on the track "You Will Make It" recalling 9/11, and dealing with the suffering of loss. The album entered the Billboard 200 at No. 43, selling 10,642 copies.

Jem wrote in her blog on 20 September 2008:

On this note, I'd like to apologize to everyone outside of the US as you might have noticed the album has not been released at the same time. It has been slightly delayed which was not intended and is not ideal but it's out of my hands (politics again, yawn…I probably shouldn't have called it my 'Empire Strikes Back' from the beginning, that's dark shit man..!)

Title[edit]

In September 2008, Jem's official website stated the following about the album title:

Down To Earth, also implies, Jem remains grounded. Perhaps that has something to do with her early experiences behind-the-scenes....,/But mostly, it stems from the fact that her prime motivation remains the joy of writing, recording, and performing music. Everything else is gravy./One last thought on that album title: No matter how rapturous a reception she receives, Jem shows no interest in the fame game.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Down to Earth"   Jem Griffiths, Jeff Bass, Justin Griffiths 4:34
2. "Crazy"   Jem Griffiths, Jeff Bass 3:39
3. "I Want You To..."   Jem Griffiths, Lester Mendez, Lucas MacFadden 3:39
4. "It's Amazing"   Lester Mendez, Jem Griffiths 3:58
5. "Keep on Walking"   Jem Griffiths, Jeff Bass 4:12
6. "You Will Make It (featuring Vusi Mahlasela)"   Jem Griffiths, Justin Griffiths 6:12
7. "I Always Knew"   Lester Mendez, Jem Griffiths 3:10
8. "Got It Good"   Jem Griffiths, Jeff Bass 4:27
9. "Aciiid!"   Greg Kurstin, Jem Griffiths 2:57
10. "How Would You Like It"   Jem Griffiths, Justin Griffiths 4:02
11. "And So I Pray"   Jem Griffiths, Kevin Beber 2:42
12. "On Top of the World"   Lester Mendez, Jem Griffiths 4:52

Personnel[edit]

  • Hiroko Aoyagi – vocals
  • Jeff Atmajian – piano, string arrangements, piano arrangement
  • Jeff Bass – bass, guitar, keyboards, producer, drum programming, tracked by
  • Kevin Beber – drum programming
  • Brian Berryman – engineer, fader engineer
  • Mick Bolger – trombone, trumpet, euphonium, mellophonium, E flat cornet
  • Mike Bradford – producer, string arrangements, instrumentation
  • Del Casher – sounds
  • Bryan Cook – engineer
  • Nick Cuchinella – trombone
  • Nabil Elderkin – photography
  • Johnny Evans – saxophone
  • Serban Ghenea – mixing
  • Jem Griffiths – vocals, producer, vocal engineer, poetry reading
  • Justin Griffiths – acoustic guitar
  • John Hanes – mixing
  • Mark Aaron James – design
  • Ted Jensen – mastering
  • Shinobu Lee – vocals
  • David Levita – acoustic guitar, guitar
  • Lester Mendez – piano, producer, string arrangements, brass arrangement, instrumentation
  • Monica Mendez – sound design
  • Milan, Derrick & The Krew – chorus
  • Eddie Miller – vocal engineer
  • Rafael Padilla – percussion
  • Phillip Ramos – studio assistant
  • Tim Roberts – mixing assistant
  • Ken Robinson – trumpet
  • Sonus – strings
  • Welsh Choir of Southern California – chorus
  • Joe Wohlmuth – engineer

Charts[edit]

Chart (2008) Peak
position
US Billboard 200 48
Chart (2009) Peak
position
UK Albums Chart[10][11] 64

Release history[edit]

[12]

Country Date
United States 16 September 2008
Canada
Japan
Ireland 30 January 2009
United Kingdom 2 February 2009
Europe
Sweden 4 February 2009
Portugal 16 February 2009
Poland
Denmark 23 February 2009
Germany 27 February 2009
Austria
Netherlands
Switzerland
Norway 2 March 2009
France 3 March 2009
Finland 4 March 2009
Italy 6 March 2009

References[edit]

  1. ^ Leahey, Andrew (16 September 2008). "Allmusic review". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  2. ^ "ArtofRhyme review". Artofrhyme.com. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  3. ^ Billboard review[dead link]
  4. ^ "Digital Spy review". Digitalspy.co.uk. 30 January 2009. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  5. ^ Caroline Sullivan (30 January 2009). "The Guardian review". London: Guardian. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  6. ^ "Jem – Down to Earth – review". Musicomh.com. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  7. ^ "Paste review". Pastemagazine.com. 16 September 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  8. ^ "The Phoenix review". Thephoenix.com. 23 September 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "The Times review". Entertainment.timesonline.co.uk. 9 May 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  10. ^ "Official UK Albums Chart". Theofficialcharts.com. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  11. ^ "Jem – Down to Earth from". chartstats.com. 14 February 2009. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  12. ^ "Jem | The Official Website of Jem". Jem-music.net. Retrieved 14 February 2012. 

External links[edit]