Julien Baker
Audiotree Live Session


5.0
classic

Review

by Ian Bledsoe USER (13 Reviews)
July 15th, 2017 | 29 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Raw, unadulterated catharsis mixed with brutal honesty.

Julien Baker has become an enthralling musician in modern music, especially in indie-folk. Her debut record Sprained Ankle warmed its way up to fans as her features on many mainstream Spotify playlists as well as plentiful live sessions, including viral ones such as Audiotree (this one !), NPR, OurVinyl, CARDINAL, and many more snowballed her into near the forefront of the folk scene. It’s more than fair though, it’s practically expected. The raw emotion she displays in the studio alone is essentially unrivaled by anyone else in music itself. Just the thought of her songs and their translation into a live setting give an extra aura of emotion that wasn’t there previously. Especially with how well produced the Audiotree audio-engineers craft and mold these artists into a live setting, in some senses, it almost makes the Audiotree version better than some of the source material. And if i’m being honest that’s exactly the case with this beyond phenomenal recording.

The pain and less-filtered emotion displayed by Julien feels like you’re truly in the recording room with her, feeling her emotion. It honestly feels somewhat haunting. Her cathartic howling through the climax of “Rejoice” sends chills down the spine of the listener as she just continues to move through her set. “Something” also plays an integral part in her set as a beautiful centerpiece, showcasing some of her shimmering finger-picked guitar lines as well the Audiotree engineers’ capabilities to produce and mix such a clean tone to compliment Julien’s rough and (emotionally) damaged voice. The real shining gem of the set though, is closer “Go Home”. Serving also as the album closer to Sprained Ankle, “Go Home” paints a canvas of an auditory nervous breakdown. The somber piano chords sink into a melancholic vocal delivery from Julien, giving one of, if not her most emotionally draining performance yet as she howls through lines like “And I haven’t been taking my meds, lock all the cabinets and send me to bed, cause I know you’re still worried I’m gonna get scared” as soulfully and gracefully as it gets as the haunting and beaten piano chords triumph as a form of scenery to end the legendary performance.

There’s almost a sense of cathartic release, in her performance as well as the listener’s experience. The honesty she displays in her songwriting, vocal, and instrumental ability leaves her as one of the most elegant and astonishing open books in music today. Even in the short interview portions between songs on the video/stream version, you can see how well spoken, transparent, and most importantly passionate she really is not only as a musician but as a person in general. The integrity and coherence she displays as a human being, musician, as well as a high advocate for the LGBT community makes her stray from the path of a lot of her contemporaries. Performances like this, an album like Sprained Ankle, and songs like “Go Home” are what make Julien Baker a human, not just a musician. And there isn’t more of a beautiful thing than that.



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user ratings (15)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
ianblxdsoe
July 15th 2017


696 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

part 3 of what i'm calling my "5 5 star reviews in 5 days" series, this one i wanted to try and review something i feel was a bit overlooked. seriously though check the video for this on youtube or Audiotree's website, i'll link it at the end of the review in a second. stay tuned for tomorrow's review as well :D constructive criticism is always appreciated. thanks to bloon, mighty meat (ramon), and blush for proofreading/helping.

rockandmetaljunkie
July 15th 2017


6870 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

can't wait for her sophomore album

ianblxdsoe
July 15th 2017


696 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

me neither man, gonna be a brutal listen i can tell already. looks like it's slated for a release late this year though so i'm excited

BlushfulHippocrene
July 15th 2017


1536 Comments


Speaking in terms of the interview segments, she really does seem like such a cool person. And great review, the more Julien Baker threads the better; you pulled off the conclusion really, really well.

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Bloon
July 15th 2017


411 Comments


good review heck

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Taxt
July 15th 2017


964 Comments


Great session, nice write up

ianblxdsoe
July 15th 2017


696 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

thanks my dudes

cylinder
July 15th 2017


648 Comments


Review seems slightly hyperbolic, well written tho. Not sure if she really deserves all the high praise shes been getting here

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McTime50
July 15th 2017


131 Comments


You're on a roll man.

LandDiving
Contributing Reviewer
July 15th 2017


735 Comments


lovely conclusion especially

sincerelyaural
July 16th 2017


186 Comments


I'm really glad you managed to create a fitting conclusion - it works quite well

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
July 16th 2017


55041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8

My favorite person

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ashcrash9
July 16th 2017


2492 Comments


haven't listened to her in a while but iirc the version of Rejoice on here is one of the most heartwrenching songs ever

pos'd

AsleepInTheBack
July 16th 2017


3954 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"The raw emotion she displays in the studio alone is essentially unrivaled by anyone else in music itself."

I mean, I don't think you can really justify this, its such a massive statement to say about something incredibly subjective. But eh, who cares, review is lovely anyway. Big ol' pos

AsleepInTheBack
July 16th 2017


3954 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Also, the video of 'Go Home' is crushing

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
July 16th 2017


15292 Comments


ayy yes nice this session is amazing

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butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
July 16th 2017


2519 Comments


the review is great, but come on.. musicians from this niche can be fantastic, but a 5/5 live session.. nah.. still, sprained ankle was alright..

ianblxdsoe
July 16th 2017


696 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

opinions are opinions i guess my man ¯_(ツ)_/¯ really emotionally captivated me personally

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
July 16th 2017


2519 Comments


fair enough.. the writing is fucking lovely though!!

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
July 16th 2017


55041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8

"the review is great, but come on.. musicians from this niche can be fantastic, but a 5/5 live session.. nah.. still, sprained ankle was alright.."



What fucking condescending nonsense is this





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