Julien Baker released her second studio album called Turn Out the Lights and it seems to be an album about self-esteem, God and rejection. The critic’s opinion is split in two sides now, some of them consider that this is obviously an improvement compared to her first album. But, on the other hand, some think that with the main focus on her voice, piano and guitar, Baker started to seem defiant. But if you want a full review on this new album, keep reading.
A More Technical Album
Opposed to her debut album, Sprained Ankle, this second release is clearly more refined with a lot more studio technology involved. Not that this could ever be a bad thing, however, the rawness and blunt approach of her first album are what got to her fans’ souls. While on Sprained Ankle you have the feeling that she is in the corner of the room, singing and whispering to you, on Turn out the Lights you lose that familiar and intimate feeling. Once again, the fact that the intimacy was toned down a bit is not a bad thing at all, instead, it was replaced by a different feeling, something more powerful. And this can be clearly seen on Appointments, where Baker tells a story of sadness. It’s a song about self-doubt and self-reliance with a simple guitar riff that undulates into an awesome chorus.
A Clash Between Piano and Guitar
Other songs on the album like Hurt less or Televangelist give the listeners a glimpse of the silent war that takes place in the instrumental world. While the piano seems to win the battle at times, you can enjoy a lot of awesome riffs, especially as she uses her voice to create a powerful but not overdone album. In other songs like Sour Breath, the slow motion singing right before doing an awesome crescendo with a piano-only backing is simply stunning. Once again, we can admire the way she passes from one feeling to another as the phrase The harder I swim, the faster I sink is repeated over and over again until, towards the end, it is transformed into a silent scream. The kind of scream you may release while playing free bingo win real money no deposit at an online casino.
The Lyrical Point of View
When directing the attention towards the Lyrics of Turn Out the Lights, critics and fans might interpret the album in two very different ways. No matter which side you wish to take, there’s one thing that seems to go well with both approaches, she is not far from the lyric of the first album and overall style of it. Again, that’s not a bad thing at all, especially with a songwriter like Baker that can so easily communicate pain and despair in very simple terms, while sprinkling some auto-destructive fantasy, the question for divinity through a voice so close to crying it just touches your heart.
The bottom line is that, no matter what you think of her songs, she will make you feel every word of what she’s singing through her amazing empathic voice and tone.