Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Julia Holter: "Have You In My Wilderness" (album review)

With this week's release of Have You In My Wilderness, we are four albums deep into the career of Julia Holter, and I'm still on the fence about her music.

Holter's songs have always been dreamy and elegant.  However, too often they stray too deeply into the artsy realm, as though they have been created solely to appeal to critics and the self-appointed creative elites.

Many cuts seem to be designed to convey a specific image through their arrangement.  It manifests in a cascading form on "Lucette Stranded On the Island".  For "Night Song" it's a windswept, shifting landscape.

The dramatic strings on "How Long?" create an almost unbearably heavy mood.  That reappears on the whispered European-styled "Vasquez".

There are some wonderful moments on the record.  The melodies on tracks like "Feel You" and the energetic tiptoe "Everytime Boots" are beautiful.  "Silhouette" is understated, yet still manages to impart a sense of importance.  Holter's vocals are the star on "Sea Calls Me Home" as she adds a welcomed cheekiness to her delivery.

There's nothing horrible about anything that Holter does.  It's just not a style of music that connects deeply with me.

Best tracks: "Everytime Boots", "Silhouette"

Track listing for Have You In My Wilderness:
  • Feel You
  • Silhouette
  • How Long?
  • Lucette Stranded On the Island
  • Sea Calls Me Home
  • Night Song
  • Everytime Boots
  • Betsy On the Roof
  • Vasquez
  • Have You In My Wilderness

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