Nadia Reid
Preservation


3.7
great

Review

by Atari STAFF
October 21st, 2017 | 30 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: What lies beneath the surface

Preservation is about the point I started to love myself again. It is about strength, observation and sobriety. It’s about when I could see the future again. When the world was good again. When music was realized as my longest standing comfort. – Nadia Reid

After nearly two months of trying to crack the mystery that is Nadia Reid, I think it’s finally time to just spit it out: Preservation is one of the most quietly powerful albums of the year. The singer-songwriter’s presence remains stubbornly ingrained in the background of my mind. I should have her sound and lyrics all pinned down by now, but something about her music remains elusive and cryptic – even more so than the first time I stumbled across the massive “Richard.” It’s a glowing standout that leads into some of the record’s most colorful lyrics: Richard liked the sound of his own voice/By the kitchen in the mirror/It extracted all of our teeth/Filled the sink with blood/And I am on the cross of forgiveness/He wanted it final, finally. With her soaring vocals, Reid’s somewhat dark lyricism is instantly captivating, but hard to decipher; there’s always something lying beneath the surface.

Throughout Preservation is a nagging sense that Nadia Reid wrote this album entirely for herself, with little, if any thought of her audience. It’s this deeply personal approach that makes her music so powerful and authentic. She could have made every song as vibrant and emotional as “Richard”, but the majority of Preservation is much more reflective and quiet. These slow-burners take longer to sink in, but it’s worth it. The opening title track is a strong representation of the album’s sound: with hazy, unpolished guitars floating quietly behind Reid’s towering vocals. Admittedly, the production tends to focus on Reid’s voice, but there’s a lot of brilliance in the instrumentation that may feel vague at first. Though it’s a folk album, there are little sprinkles of country, blues, and even gospel throughout Preservation that give it a strong, resonating sense of character. The album closes properly with “Ain’t Got You”, an outstanding country track with a subtle twang and flair that leads into a richly harmonized chorus. As Reid croons When I get to heaven, will you take me as I am"/I’ve got everything I need/I have my horses/And my Dreams, there’s a level of contentment in her solitude that’s purely poetic. It’s a closer that leaves you wanting more.

Even now, as I gush in attempt to unravel what’s so special about Nadia Reid, it’s as if I’m hearing her for the first time. There are many different musical styles and moods throughout Preservation, but it’s the way they’re meticulously conveyed and intertwined that keeps things feeling fresh. From the playful beats of “Right on Time” to the unique ambience of “Te Aro”, Reid covers a lot of ground here without ever going over the top. Unlike some albums that are instantly catchy, but quickly fade, this is an effort with longevity written all over it. Even the deeper cuts like “Richard” and “The Arrow and the Aim” don’t show any signs of growing stale. There’s just something special about her music that’s hard to pin down at times, but it sure as hell keeps reeling me back in. Fragile, mysterious, and powerful, Preservation is one of the most elusively passionate albums of the year.



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user ratings (11)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
UniqueUniverse
October 21st 2017


7818 Comments


She looks like she's about to write the most passive-aggressive and biting Salon.com article on marginalisation of overweight women in underground grindcore scene.

Digging: Jawbox - For Your Own Special Sweetheart

Atari
Staff Reviewer
October 21st 2017


22699 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

had to be done. it's been killing me this didn't have a review



Richard (SOTY contender)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jN1BfSLbzg

Digging: Langhorne Slim - Lost At Last, Vol 1

Winesburgohio
Contributing Reviewer
October 21st 2017


1825 Comments


she's actually lovely and v. funny irl!!! i don't like her music that much (not really my thing) but i'm glad she's receiving offshore recognition, well deserved

Digging: Cakedog - Menace In The Phantom

bloc
October 21st 2017


44290 Comments


If this lady wants to sell albums she might wanna thinking about not putting her resting bitch face on the album cover

Digging: Beastmilk - Climax

kingdedethefifth
October 21st 2017


4250 Comments


She looks fuckin' cold, like "why am I on this dumb shitty album I don't want to do this ugh".
She sounds really good though, maybe i'll check her music.

kingdedethefifth
October 21st 2017


4250 Comments


Oh also, as per usual, great review Atari!

Dewinged
October 21st 2017


6427 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Outstanding album and the review it needed. If you are able to see beyond the cover you'll find a really nicely crafted album.



I am not gonna lie, the cover put me off at first too.

Digging: Motorpsycho - The Tower

ArsMoriendi
October 22nd 2017


22024 Comments


Why does this album cover look like a Facebook profile picture?

Digging: Baths - Romaplasm

Astral Abortis
Contributing Reviewer
October 22nd 2017


3345 Comments


one of the best aoty

"Why does this album cover look like a Facebook profile picture?"

probably the same reason any album cover depicting the artist looks like a profile picture: because it's a portrait of the person

KevinKC
October 22nd 2017


703 Comments


Still better than St. Vincent's saturated ass.

Lucid
October 22nd 2017


8682 Comments


nice review, this was an early year highlight for me. love the opening three tracks and "the way it goes" the most but I always end up hearing the full thing. she's an amazing vocalist and I'll certainly keep up with anything she releases

PistolPete
October 22nd 2017


4493 Comments


I'm sure the music is great but wow that cover is BUTT ugly

Digging: Sarin - Darker Lakes

Astral Abortis
Contributing Reviewer
October 22nd 2017


3345 Comments


and here am i, the guy who checked out this album solely because i loved the cover

Lucid
October 22nd 2017


8682 Comments


cover encouraged me to check it as well, it's distinctive

Divaman
October 22nd 2017


1527 Comments


Cover makes me uncomfortable. I feel like she's watching me. Look, did you see that? Her eyes just moved!

Digging: Best Ex - Ice Cream Antisocial

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
October 22nd 2017


16404 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

She looks like she's related to the Log Lady

Digging: Cathal Coughlan - The Sky's Awful Blue

Atari
Staff Reviewer
October 22nd 2017


22699 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

I think the cover is humanizing (and also intentional). There are plenty 'more attractive' pictures of her, but I think it ties fittingly into the theme of her accepting herself, flaws and all.



anyways, the music is too good to get hung up on the cover. just listen to it!

FreddieDelaney31
October 22nd 2017


3331 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Get the fuck over yourselves with the cover my god



Anyways I loved this, first song was my favorite

Digging: Converge - The Dusk in Us

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
October 22nd 2017


16404 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like the Log Lady

FreddieDelaney31
October 22nd 2017


3331 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hahaha not u doof, I took that as a compliment from the jump



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