Review Summary: Julie Christmas brings her most diverse and emotional performances to date into a well structured bundle of audible pleasure.
I'm no stranger to Julie Christmas, in fact, I have obtained virtually all of her published material (even her guest vox for Mouth of the Architect
). Needless to say, I was writhing in anxiety for her solo debut. It has been several months since the release of her single "If You Go Away" and I have been pondering what direction she would take for The Bad Wife
. I asked myself if the whole album would be the lighter side of Julie Christmas like "If You Go Away". Maybe she will play around with the sludge and doom from her previous work in Battle of Mice
. Or is she going to revert to the noise rock found with Made Out of Babies
. So what has she done?
All of it
With The Bad Wife
Julie has brought all of her previous influences and more to the table. The album manages to feel like a complete album despite the genre, mood, and atmosphere changes throughout. Now as much as I love her signature shrieks and screams, I have to say that I am glad she didn't shout her way through the album. In tracks like "Secrets All Men Keep" and "A Wigmaker's Widow" she shows that she can really sing. She isn't exactly a technical singer, but she is a master at conveying her heart wrenching emotional conflicts in a pleasing manner.
I somewhat expected to hear a mixture of some of her previous works here, but I was pleasantly surprised by some songs that were unusual for her. My main example is "I Just Destroyed the World", which features Julie singing over an airy and atmospheric electronic backing. She starts singing quite nicely while building the song into a tense and heartbreaking experience. The song, however, is somewhat held back by the fact that it is only two minutes long. Given a couple more minutes, the song could have become much more by allowing the song to progress into a bigger climax. As slightly disappointing as it may be, it stands alone as an obvious flaw on the album.
With The Bad Wife
, Julie Christmas has made a point. The point being that she is doing things that nobody else is. She has become more than just a metal vocalist. She is covering more musical territory than any other female vocalist has in a very long time.