Zola Jesus – Okovi album review

This is an excellent album. This may be the first Zola Jesus album I’ve listened to, but it is almost certainly one of her best, because the instrumentals on this album are just otherworldly. If the vocals were taken out, I would call this the greatest ambient album of all time. But unfortunately, the lyrics are a bit on the lacklustre side, detracting from what would otherwise be a perfect album. There’s nothing wrong with the lyrics inherently, the subject matter just feels overused and cliched. But if you don’t concentrate on the vocals, they can actually add another layer to it’s masterful soundscape. They are better appreciated as abstract sounds, because the lyrics, despite the poignancy that they are being sung with, are not very powerful.

 

But that doesn’t make the album bad, on the contrary, it is an excellent album which could have been a perfect album.

The only two bad songs are siphon and soak, which deviate from the atmospherics to focus more on the lyrics, and they aren’t very good. They are still by no means bad tracks, just not as good as the rest of the album.

My favourite track so far is Veka, which is very minimal in terms of lyrics and has a very eeire soundscape to it.

All in all, it’s an excellent album brought down only by it’s lyrics and I will definitely be listening to it frequently.

Rating: 8/10

 

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