Jem is a name which has been bandied about for much of 2004 as the "next big thing" and whilst this debut doesn't quite manage to live up to all the hype, it's a stunning effort which comes quite close.
The Dido comparisons will live on and on, and there is much that is similar on this album. However it is what is different from Dido that really makes this album stand out, be it the use of samples (such as on the immense opening track "They") or the use of heavy rock-style guitar's on some tracks. There is a sense of life and joyousness that is missing from the majority of Dido's work.
Stand out tracks include Wish I, Save Me and Just A Ride, and although a couple of tracks fail to convince, the majority are well worth a listen. Until Jem gets around to releasing a second album, the Dido comparisons will no doubt continue to abound. But it would be unfair to limit Jem to that description alone. Yes, fans of Dido will find much to admire on this collection, but there is a lot more to Jem than this alone. Jem is her own woman, and hopefully, future albums will confirm this.
Dean's View - 4 out of 5