Sunday, April 12, 2020

Album Review: Clarice Jensen- The Experience of Repetition as Death

I didn’t mention Max Richter’s surprisingly humble demeanor in my review of his splendid concert in Austin last year.  He may be one of the most respected composers of the 21st century, but Richter possesses a sheepish stage presence.  Clarice Jensen, however, led Richter’s accompanists with dramatic flair.

Jensen’s new album The Experience of Repetition as Death is correspondingly suspenseful.  The ambient recording would convey a sense of inconsolable devastation even in the best of times.  Experienced during the current global crisis, The Experience of Repetition as Death provides the quintessential soundtrack for dread-imbued isolation.

The Experience of Repetition as Death,  Jóhann Jóhannsson’s apocalyptic posthumous album Last And First Men and the slow burn of Nine Inch Nails’ astoundingly impactful Ghosts VI: Locusts and its slightly less gripping companion Ghosts V: Together make up the most meaningful- albeit jarring and disconcerting- portion of my current discretionary listening. 

I attempted to lighten my mood by blasting a playlist featuring hits by the likes of E-40, Pusha T and Nicki Minaj during a run for provisions a couple days ago.  I felt like an idiot.  Until all this is behind us, I’ll be brooding right here.

I was never entirely smitten by a Hal Willner production, but I’ll always be grateful to the eclectic gadfly.  I was unfamiliar with Nino Rota and Kurt Weill until his tribute albums brought the giants to my attention in the 1980s.  Willner died April 7. 

I can only assume the people praising Yves Tumor’s Heaven to a Tortured Mind are also big fans of Godsmack.  The difference between the commercial metal band and the critically acclaimed artist is marginal on his new album.  The tired playlists of active rock radio stations would be much more interesting if they featured Tumor songs like “Gospel For a New Century” between tracks by Stone Temple Pilots and Tool.

I returned to the 1970s catalog of Norman Connors upon learning of the April 6 death of keyboardist Onaje Allan Gumbs.  The cosmic jazz of Love From the Sun has aged exceedingly well. 

(Original image of downtown Austin by There Stands the Glass.)


bigsteveno said...

Man, were you right about the Clarice Jensen album. I must have been thinking 'solo cello ...pass'but it's beautiful. Thanks.

Aaron Rhodes said...

I like both new Yves Tumor and select Godsmack compositions.

heaven is home grown veg said...

I enjoyed rreading this