(Photo Credit - Lasse Marhaug)
Advance Review - Jenny Hval - The Practice of Love (September 13, 2019)
I’m a seasoned bartender and have learned that everyone has their own flavor. That is ok. You CAN walk into a microbrewery and ask for the Coors Light they have on the menu or the Jim Beam you see on the whiskey shelf. Your friend or the customer sitting next to you might comment, but I will not. It’s your flavor. Stand strong with your choice. However, there is something to be said about stepping outside of your comfort zone. You may find a new and exciting flavor.
So, what am I saying about Jenny Hval’s new album The Practice of Love? You don’t know yet, do you? That is a skill I picked up from bartending.
At first listen, I was reminded of Enya, and my initial judgment began to take over. “Lions” made me slightly angry because I hate when people/singers tell me what to do. “Look at these trees.” “Take a closer look.” “Study the...” And I stopped paying attentions to the lyrics. However, I let the album continue and by the intro to “Thumbsucker (feat. Félicia Atkinson),” I had become interested in the layers of music and sounds on the album. “Six Red Cannas (feat. Vivian Wang, Félicia Atkinson and Laura Jean)” was the point when I realized that, if used properly, some of the songs on The Practice of Love could be used in a club. (“Six Red Cannas” is by far my favorite off the album.)
I feel I am giving this album a hard review. The spoken lyrics and atmospheric sounds of some of the songs are not my flavor and sometimes, I had a hard time stomaching it. However, after finding out that Vivian Wang recorded her voice from her bedroom, on her bed, after brain surgery, I couldn’t help feel the pang of guilt from being overly judgmental. The truth is that this album has its place in the world along the side of Enya, Björk, and even Lana Del Rey. The music is complicated and the lyrics are meaningful. The Practice of Love can make you think, feel, and dance. Which makes it a success.
Final thoughts: I think some of the songs can have a bigger audience than others. Slip “High Alice,” “Accident,” and “ Six Red Cannas” into your playlist and see what your friends say. I bet some of them Shazam the songs to see who they are.
Rating - 3.5/5 (because some of the rhythms and beats are catchy and hypnotizing.)