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Jarboe – Beautiful People, Ltd.

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Beautiful People, Ltd. is another mesmerizing offer from ex-Swans collaborator Jarboe. This time she’s joined by Larry Seven and the pairing results in a more focused album than Jarboe’s earlier solo work.

A number of the tracks are instrumental, and while it’s disappointing to be treated to Jarboe’s textured and heartfelt vocals only sparingly, I think the album is stronger for the choice. The instrumental tracks serve as a bridge between the tracks with vocals, musically experimenting with the themes that would otherwise be only touched upon.

This album enjoys a wholeness of sound that is a result of its noisier, more experimental feel. Even though the song styles range from gothic lullabye (Newborn Child) to spoken word (My Bruise) to straight-up noise (Danse Dementia) and includes a cover of I Feel Pretty, from West Side Story, there is a totality here that I’ve found lacking in Jarboe’s solo work.

In the end, this album is an entirely rewarding listening experience that I give my highest recommendation.

Rating: 8.9
Recommended if you like: Einsturzende Neubauten, Laurie Anderson

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  • Eric Olsen

    this fine review selected for Advance