Finally Woken

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Finally Woken
Studio album by Jem
Released 23 March 2004 (2004-03-23)
Recorded 1999–2003
Genre Trip hop, electronica, pop rock, folktronica
Length 41:53
Label ATO
Producer Jem, Yoad Nevo, Ge-ology
Jem chronology
It All Starts Here...
(2003)
Finally Woken
(2004)
Down to Earth
(2008)
Singles from Finally Woken
  1. "They"
    Released: 17 February 2004
  2. "Just a Ride"
    Released: 13 June 2005
  3. "Wish I"
    Released: 12 September 2005

Finally Woken is the debut studio album by Welsh singer-songwriter Jem, released initially in the United States on 23 March 2004, with ATO Records.

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 70/100[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[2]
Entertainment Weekly B[3]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[4]
PopMatters Mixed[5]
Q Magazine 4/5 stars[6]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[7]
Yahoo! Music 7/10 stars[8]

Background[edit]

Jemma Griffiths (born 18 May 1975), known by her stage name Jem, is a Welsh singer, songwriter, and record producer. Born and raised in Penarth, Wales, she began songwriting at an early age. After graduating from the University of Sussex with a Law degree in 1996 she worked as a DJ, club and festival promoter as well as co-founder of record label Marine Parade in Brighton.[9] However, she soon felt that she had neglected her own musical career for too long so in November 1999 she surprised her colleagues by leaving Brighton and returning to Wales, where she assembled a mobile recording studio and focused on developing her own individual songwriting and music production skills, completing a collection of four demos that acted as the basis of her break into the music industry.[9]

In 2000, Jem moved to London where she began collaborating with other writers and producers. Two days into her first writing session with acclaimed electronic producer Guy Sigsworth (Bjork, Frou Frou), the song "Nothing Fails" was born. With the lyrics eventually being picked up by Madonna for her 2003 studio album, American Life.[9] In 2001, Jem travelled to Brooklyn, NYC, teaming up with hip hop producer Ge-Ology (Mos Def, Talib Kweli) and co-producer Yoad Nevo, where they succeeded in fusing her many musical influences to create a fresh and distinctive new sound.[9]

In March 2002, during a trip to Los Angeles to visit friends, Jem stopped by independent radio station KCRW to leave a demo of her song "Finally Woken" in Nic Harcourt's mailbox.[10] Credited with being the first American DJ to play Coldplay, Norah Jones, and Dido, Harcourt immediately began playing it on his show Morning Becomes Eclectic, whose popular listeners included big names in the music business.[10] The track quickly became one of the most listener-requested songs at the station, landing Jem in their top 5 played artists of 2003, all prior to any record label being attached to her name.[10]

One of those 'big names' listening was Bruce Flohr, a top-level A&R rep for RCA Records and newly established ATO Records (known for introducing David Gray to American audiences). Upon meeting Jem, and listening to more of her demos, Flohr recalled thinking 'How do I not let this girl out the door without signing her?'.[10] ATO Records quickly made the unanimous decision to offer her a recording contract. She subsequently signed herself to the label and on 13 October 2003 in preparation for the release of the full length album, ATO released an extended play entitled, It All Starts Here..., consisting of five adapted demos that Jem had initially recorded. In anticipation of the album release, Jem also relocated to Los Angeles, where she felt there was more opportunity for her to promote her work and explore her musical potential.[11]

Jem performing on the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury Festival on Sunday, 5 June 2005, after the success of her debut album in the United Kingdom

Akin to the success of Moby's album Play (1999), Jem decided to license every song off of her album to be broadcast on American television programs, films and advertisements as a method of promotion.[12] Television program The O.C. was the first to use Jem's music in several of their episodes, eventually inviting her to guest star on the show, performing a cover version of Paul McCartney's 1970 song "Maybe I'm Amazed" in the first season finale.[10] Since then, every song off the album has appeared in various television programs such as Six Feet Under, Desperate Housewives, Without a Trace and Grey's Anatomy.[12]

Six additional tracks were added to the original extended play and on 24 March 2004, the full length studio album Finally Woken was released in the United States. 6,000 copies were sold in the first week, and a further 5,000 in the second. Unknown artists with little airplay or commercial MTV promotion rarely garnered this much immediate attention.[11]

To promote the album in the United Kingdom, Jem followed the traditional route of releasing CD singles and accompanying music videos across 2005. "They" became the UK lead single, being released 13 March 2005. Followed by "Just a Ride" in June and finally "Wish I" in September, which was consecutively being used as the theme tune to popular UK reality television programme Celebrity Love Island. Jem quickly gained popularity in her native country, with her album spending 32 weeks on the UK Album Chart in March, peaking at number 6.[13]

To further promote the album after its release, Jem toured and performed extensively, returning to her breakthrough radio station KCRW to perform live on air for Nic Harcourt in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2008.[14] Furthermore, Jem performed at the 2005 Sasquatch! Music Festival on Saturday 28 May as well as performing on the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury Festival in Somerset on Sunday 5 June 2005. She performed "They" for Top of the Pops which was broadcast on Sunday 10 July 2005 and a week later she performed at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California on Sunday 16 July 2005. On Sunday 21 August 2005 Jem performed on the JJB Puma Arena at the 10th V Festival in Chelmsford.

Artwork[edit]

The young girl on the cover is a photograph of a young Jem that was taken by her father; the colours were changed for different territories, with the USA receiving a yellow edition, the UK receiving a blue edition and Europe and Australia receiving a green edition. The UK and European editions were re-issued in 2005 with a new cover, featuring a new photograph of Jem on the front. The album was released with different artwork. The UK release features the orange/red effect whilst foreign covers include a green cover for Australia, and US with a blue one.[citation needed]

Critical reception[edit]

Announced as America's biggest British female debut artist of 2004;[15] Jem initially established herself in the United States before garnering any attention or airplay in her native United Kingdom. Regardless, her reception from critics, upon the release of her album worldwide in 2005, have been generally favourable.

This album was chosen as one of Amazon.com's Top 100 Editor's Picks of 2004 (rank #69).[citation needed] It has sold over 300,000 copies in the UK and, as of 29 May 2008, had sold 321,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.[citation needed]

Reviews of the album were good. Rolling Stone complimented her "sense of sonic humor".[7]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "They"   Jem Griffiths, Gerard Young, JS Bach Yoad Nevo, Jem, Ge-ology 3:16
2. "Come on Closer"   Jem Griffiths, Gerard Young Yoad Nevo, Jem, Ge-ology 3:47
3. "Finally Woken"   Jem Griffiths Yoad Nevo, Jem 3:58
4. "Save Me"   Jem Griffiths, Gerard Young Yoad Nevo, Jem, Ge-ology 3:34
5. "24"   Jem Griffiths, Justin Griffiths Yoad Nevo, Jem 3:55
6. "Missing You"   Jem Griffiths, Justin Griffiths Yoad Nevo, Jem 4:01
7. "Wish I"   Jem Griffiths Yoad Nevo, Jem 3:56
8. "Just a Ride"   Jem Griffiths, Mike Caren Yoad Nevo, Jem 3:21
9. "Falling for You"   Jem Griffiths, Nick Coler, Brian Higgins Yoad Nevo, Jem 4:18
10. "Stay Now"   Jem Griffiths, Klas.B Wahl, Nick Whitecross Yoad Nevo, Jem 3:44
11. "Flying High"   Jem Griffiths, Paul Herman Yoad Nevo, Jem 4:08
Total length:
41:53

Personnel[edit]

Managerial

Musicians

Production

Charts[edit]

Chart Date of Entry Entry Position Peak Position Weeks on Peak Weeks on Chart Date of Exit
UK Albums Top 75[16] 6 March 2005 75 6 1 32 9 September 2005
Ireland Albums Top 75[16] 10 April 2005 43 15 1 19 11 October 2005
Australia Albums Top 50[16] 19 June 2005 48 36 1 4 17 July 2005
Austria Albums Top 75[16] 9 October 2005 74 73 1 2 16 October 2005
Dutch Albums Top 100[16] 17 July 2005 100 98 1 2 24 July 2005
Billboard Top 200 197

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Finally Woken – Jem". metacritic. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  2. ^ Loftus, Johnny. Finally Woken at AllMusic. Retrieved 24 November 2004.
  3. ^ Vincintelli, Elisabeth (26 March 2004). "Finally Woken Jem > Music Review". Entertainment Weekly (757). p. 73. Retrieved 13 February 2009. 
  4. ^ Sweeting, Adam (17 March 2004). "Jem, Finally Woken > Review". The Guardian. Friday Review p. 18. Retrieved 12 December 2006. 
  5. ^ Hogan, Marc (14 June 2004). "Jem: It All Starts Here". PopMatters. Retrieved 13 February 2009. 
  6. ^ Q Magazine: 100. March 2005.  Cited at "Finally Woken – Jem > Critic Reviews". metacritic. Retrieved 8 December 2007. 
  7. ^ a b Sinagra, Laura (13 May 2004). "Jem: Finally Woken". Rolling Stone (948). p. 73. 
  8. ^ Britten, Anna (6 April 2005). "Jem – Finally Woken > Music Album Review". Yahoo! Music. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 13 February 2009. 
  9. ^ a b c d "Jemma Griffiths Biography". Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c d e Stuart, Courteney (22 April 2004). "Dig it! This Jem wants to shine". The Hook (0316). Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "answers.com". Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Moss, Corey (15 November 2005). "Moby-Style Promotion Works For Inescapable Jem". MTV. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  13. ^ "OfficialCharts". Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  14. ^ "Jem at KCRW". Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  15. ^ "Singer Jem breaks into UK charts". BBC. 21 March 2005. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  16. ^ a b c d e "ACharts". Retrieved 12 February 2013.