Jarboe No. 1

17 Jun

homepage_large.879025adJarboe / The Men Album: Atavistic, 2005

On the heels of a successful bout of re-issue mania and her well-received project with Neurosis, Jarboe returns with her most warm, accessible album that I recall in over a decade. Starting with “This Is Life,” fostered alongside William Faith, the song surges forward, straightforward even, as a mid-tempo near-rocker with a knack for simple aching vocals, whereas “Found,” with Alan Sparhawk, opens into a bigger sonic template, reminiscent of Love of Life era Swans, that ebbs and swirls in a Middle Eastern aural kaleidoscope.  “To Forget,” which skirts between neo-Fairport Convention guitar and slightly muted industrial dissonance, embodies a clash or forces both elegiac and inspired.  Whereas some of her work can often feel like she is touching from a distance, as if her heart were made from jade at times,  “Reason to Live” features her hitting a string of notes that both soar and remain sensitive (“out of touch with myself for so long”) to her acute aesthetic sensibilities, which makes me wonder if the lyrics are more confessional than ever.

To read the full review, please visit Left of the Dial here.

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