Nite Jewel's gradual rise from local Los Angeles band to a grand success beyond California state lines is an indication of Ramona Gonzalez's talent. As the lead vocalist of Nite Jewel, her lyrical and musical direction continue to represent an homage to the best elements of 80s electropop and that rare genre, Italodisco. With one full-length album under their belt, Good Evening, Nite Jewel has upped the ante on One Second of Love, a sophomore effort that clearly has more production value than the lo-fi nature of Good Evening. http://youtu.be/U6UiZ6QOXRk
"This Story" is a brief opening track with the levity of Gonzalez's voice to sustain the apology, "I'm a broken record, you have heard this before." In a way, it is Gonzalez's subconscious acknowledgment of her commitment to the style she has perfected over the course of the four years she has been making music under the Nite Jewel moniker. The following track and first single, "One Second of Love," is electropop at its finest and frothiest. The title alone is indicative of the type of romance that occurs when two people's eyes meet across the dance floor during a song like this, and for that brief second, you really are in love--until someone else catches your eye.
The third track on the album, "She's Always Watching You," is an emphatic, subtly funk-like concoction that echoes the intense yearnings of a Shangri-Las song as Gonzalez admits, "Whether I'm calling, I'm always thinking of you." Next up is "Mind & Eyes," a song with vague ties to the sound of Phil Collins that explores the topic of an erratic individual who can't seem to deliver on a promise as she recounts, "You talk the talk and then you just... you walk the walk and then you just stop." She later discourages, "Don't try to fan the fire."
"In The Dark" is slow European electro beats at their finest, with surprisingly pithy lyrics to contradict the light and airy vibe of the music: "I'm a shell of a man, but don't try to understand." As a faster continuation of "In the Dark," "Memory, Man" is an up-tempo track that Washed Out would be proud of. In many ways, "Memory, Man" is like a biography of living in Los Angeles as Gonzalez laments, "Could it be I'm losing touch again? I'm left out" and "It's been done, we're all down for the count."
As the album gets past the halfway mark, we are given the gift of "Unearthly Delights," a celestial, Enya-esque track that would fit in quite nicely at a trancier version of the Lilith Fair--and yet another title that could easily describe the sinful temptations of living in L.A. "No I Don't" perpetuates Nite Jewel's modern take on empowered female artists of the '90s (Sophie B. Hawkins comes to mind), while the subsequent track, "Autograph," returns to the more jubilant themes and sounds of the first part of One Second of Love. And, once again, the lyrics recall something out of a Shangri-Las song: "I'm so made up, but I got nowhere to go/I've still got your autograph, it is on my heart."
The concluding song, "Clive," is an appropriately ambient cap on an album ideal for taking ecstasy or laying poolside (or both at the same time). It reveals that even though Nite Jewel's tone has remained largely intact, it is also changing and expanding into avenues that are sure to spell international success for a band that has been bursting at the seams to be heard out of the bounds of L.A. County for some time now.