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Hval, Jenny – “Innocence Is Kinky” – [Rune Grammofon]

On first listen, I think I had an allergic reaction. Not
necessarily a Pitchfork pricking, nor second hand smoke from
the rings emanating from the first track. Coming back to
the album, I started on the second song, which hit me with
the gentle iron in a downy pillowcase that Niobe used to do.
On “I Called” the marching snare bursts and the slide
noise guitar make me smile, so all is well. Her voice
does some neat tricks, she can whisper under the blankets
but when she rises up the octaves, her voice gets this
sort of strange choppiness. If hiccups were cute, like that.
But she’ll yodel into a pool of delay too, like on the
beginning of “Oslo Oedipus” (a recurring character and
potentially theme on this) that track later turns into a
spoken word of dirty city sample fx loop. Despite bits of
grit, and some weirdo warpage, this is produced like a
lush pop album. Hval’s voice in all its characters remains
firmly in the sonic spotlight. The band backing here has
some crack players, but they all serve at her pleasure, and
her pleasure is not far off at any lyrical moment. Even when
it splits between pain and pleasure, like on “Give Me That
Sound.” That being said, these songs stripped of the backing
action and strummed with guitar and sung without effect and
without overlapping dubs would not be as alluring in that
pure and naked state. Maybe that is the message here, sex
is more powerful when viewed with a more literary than
literal pair of binoculars? Sex is confusion, underestimates
the joys of confusion. I wish plenty of the latter upon
Hval’s future platters.
-Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on September 19, 2013 at 1:55 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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