How do you like me now?
One can take that question a number of ways.
C. Jane Run has taken it and made it the title of its new EP for a very simple reason: to show everyone - especially those who doubted and didn't give a damn - that they have what it takes to go all the way.
"For (drummer Joanne DeSarbo) and me there's a whole list of people we'd like to say that to," says Janes lead singer Lisa Carey. "All those people who weren't supportive and didn't believe in you, how nice would it be to go back and say `see, I told you."
"Everyone wants to go back and say `look at me now.'"
The Janes - Carey, DeSarbo, bassist/singer Mike Wray and guitarist Chuck "Manchester" Reinemann - are certainly saying that on "How Do You Like Me Now." Produced by renowed Albany, NY knob-turner Gary Tash and the band, "How Do You Like Me Now" finds C. Jane Run mining in a more mature adult-pop vein, singing emotional, sometimes moody and always melodic 1980s-flavored pop tailored perfectly for listeners who've experienced a little bit of life.
And yeah, even the pursuit of happiness.
"I'm hopeful lately because it's OK to be kind of a sentimental pop band, it's OK to be kind of mellon collie," says Carey. "I'm sick of listening to all the angst and the teenie-bopper stuff with no substance.
"I feel like we've come to a place where we're more emotionally mature about feelings, heartbreaks and stuff like that," she continued. "On our first album ("You Must Be Jane...") it was like `you broke my heart and it sucks' and on this album it's more like `you broke my heart, but I'll get over it and I learned something about myself, thanks."
"How Do You Like Me Now?" opens with the infectious "Second Chances," an upbeat pop song wrapped with Carey's disarmingly moody lyrics.
"It's that whole process of helping somebody be independent and come into their own and the risk is that they won't need you and you're left behind," Carey says. "That's a very hard thing to deal with."
Bassist Mike Wray's driving, Beatlesque "Almost Yesterday" is all about shaking the past, specifically memories of a long lost love who has caused pain in the past and is back to take what's left of your heart - all in just over three minutes.
"Only this time, the guy realizes she's trouble and he walks away, saving himself what's sure to be more mental abuse," says Wray. "The girl will always have a hold on him but he's found a way to loosen the grip just enough to keep out of her grasp."
Carey takes the lead on the soaring "This Time," a gorgeous pop song draped in pulsing violins and Tash's lovely orchestral arrangements _ a perfect setting for the guarded optimism in Carey's lyrics.
"In some relationships, you don't know if you can make a difference, but you're going to die trying," Carey explains. "The song is about someone who's very guarded and you just want to try to help them out of it, to trust again.
"Years ago, most of the songs I wrote were about people leaving and I've worked through those issues," Carey continues, laughing. "It all goes back to `how do you like me now,' it's a whole growing process."
For C. Jane Run, that growth is both emotionally and musically.
"This is a nice sampling of where we are now and where we're heading," says Wray. "This is smart, seamless pop with a cool vibe and I'm very proud of it."
"I think when you're in your 30s, people are a work in progress but there's a calmness that comes with that," adds Carey. "These songs have very thoughtful lyrics, we're able to do that. Maybe this is our time."