Album Review: Jolie Holland- The Living And The Dead

October 15, 2008 at 8:11 pm Leave a comment

Jolie Holland has returned to the music world with a new release titled “The Living And The Dead”. Her earlier releases had a kind of rustic lo-fi charm about them that felt like actual artifacts of many years ago. 2006’s Springtime can kill you was a decidedly glossier affair, with slinky jazz instrumentation amping up Jolie’s sultry vocals. On this new release, she has taken a fairly straightforward approach to her song structures which heightens certain aspects of her aesthetic, but ultimately fail in pushing her discography to new innovative heights.

The first single, Mexico City , sets the tone for the record with a rollicking rhythm set to Jolie’s ghostly voice which weaves in and out of the simple guitar progression. Unfortunately, this same sound is replicated a few too many times on the record on tracks like Palmyra, and Your Big Hands, diffusing the effectiveness of this new approach.

The standouts on the album are the tracks that recall a more traditional songwriting angle such as the breathtaking Love Henry, and Enjoy Yourself, which highlight her outstanding voice in more challenging tempo situations. All in all, a strong record, that will age well, but I get the feeling that we haven’t seen the peak of this singer songwriter yet.

Entry filed under: Album Reviews, Archive, Concert Reviews. Tags: , , , , .

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