Jenny Hval
Viscera


5.0
classic

Review

by Eli EMERITUS
February 16th, 2012 | 27 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist


It is no more than a few minutes in that one realizes that Jenny Hval is not the average singer songwriter, and Viscera is not the average album. Viscera is a dark and confounding folk record, contorted and turned inward; a stark and introspective revelation made by the elusive and brilliant Jenny Hval. The album is an all-encompassing entity that projects as strongly as it reflects. More importantly, however, is that it is a bold statement by Ms. Hval herself, proclaiming the beginning of what could be a bright and wonderful career.

Viscera, despite the multitude of emotions is evokes, is actually a difficult beast to describe. Hval has crafted a deceptively simple album, with unpredictable twists and turns at every corner. Her voice is the main aspect, but her often subtle use of instrumentals is just as impressive. Solemn acoustic guitar plays under her light croon in “How Gentle,” while a wild explosion arises in the later parts of “Portrait of a Young Girl as an Artist.” Her voice perfectly acclimates to whatever situation arises, whether it is for chaos or beauty. This is the most impressive part in all of Viscera. Hval has immense control over her vocals and delivery, sounding vastly different within each song, fitting the atmosphere and mood to a tee. She uses her prowess as a vehicle for the all-too-personal lyrics that make the album the complex and daring entity that it is. Many will ride it off as perverse drivel, but Hval’s metaphorical mentions of her vagina make the album that much more interesting.

Viscera is the rare album that teeters on the brink of perfection in regards to songwriting. There are moments in music where everything comes together so painfully perfect that it simply wouldn’t work any other way. Viscera is filled with said moments. For example, the multiple layers of vocals in “Milk of Marrow” often make some of the most staggering moments on the entire album. The intersecting melodies are so gorgeous and evocative that it feels meticulously crafted, while at the same time, wholly organic. But it is the album’s final track that proves the sheer emotional value of the entire package. “Black Morning/Viscera” is a mere acoustic track, as Hval has only her guitar and voice. Yet it is with these that she creates her simplest and most stunning song; a piece that encapsulates Viscera as whole, with Hval’s last gasp showing her frailty as she is now stripped bare.

Viscera, at its core, is a folk record with indie leanings, but it is Jenny Hval-the artist-that makes it more that. The album is a testament to the power of creativity and ingenuity mixed with personal experience; a heart wrenching piece of music that doubles as one of the finest debuts in years.



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user ratings (73)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Lewis P. STAFF (5)
review pending...

Matt P. STAFF (4.5)
I carefully rearranged my senses, so they could have a conversation......

Sam Feldman's Rating (4.5)
And up we went, blood and I, spread over the city....

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Xenophanes
Emeritus
February 16th 2012


10624 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

In which Xenophanes writes a gushing 5 review and immediately regrets it.


But basically I wrote this so it could get more attention. 40 ratings is way, way too low.

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2012


18886 Comments


best album of 2011 hell yeah where is sam

Digging: Bee Mask - When We Were Eating Unripe Pears

foreverjohndeered
February 16th 2012


897 Comments


album was bad

Xenophanes
Emeritus
February 16th 2012


10624 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yeah my aoty

FelixCulpa
February 16th 2012


1240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I guess I forgot to rate this. It's pretty good but not that good.

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2012


18886 Comments


no its that good

MO
February 16th 2012


19004 Comments


yea this is really good

oh and check this "the multitude of emotions is evokes" and this "that encapsulates Viscera as whole"

foreverjohndeered
February 16th 2012


897 Comments


its like a 2

Gyromania
February 16th 2012


15976 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This really is a gorgeous album, and this is a damn fine review to boot, Elijah. Have a pos!

-- Just one very minor detail:

Viscera, despite the multitude of emotions is evokes


it*

luschlotz
February 16th 2012


993 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is amazing. silence is really well performed

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2012


15070 Comments


terrible

TheFonz123
February 16th 2012


2795 Comments


this album drops megaton bombs

Ire
February 16th 2012


41822 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

aw yeah vagina time


Xenophanes
Emeritus
February 16th 2012


10624 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

h8 u

chambered49
May 27th 2012


1727 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

uh YES? why have i not seen this lol amazing job eli agree on all points :]

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
May 27th 2012


18886 Comments


ruelz

Tyrael
May 27th 2012


20948 Comments


This is prob a 3.5

but I'm not gonna rate cuz you guys will rage at me if I do so

Digging: Azealia Banks - Broke With Expensive Taste

Wolfhorde
May 27th 2012


13688 Comments


"This is prob a 3.5

but I'm not gonna rate cuz you guys will rage at me if I do so"
wut, where is your ballcred.

ItsOnlyWords
May 27th 2012


369 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yes your opinion doesn't matter

Xenophanes
Emeritus
September 24th 2012


10624 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is slowly inching its way towards my favorite albums ever



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