Julia Jacklin
Crushing


4.3
superb

Review

by Atari STAFF
February 23rd, 2019 | 75 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A full-length mirror

There’s something about an artist when stripped down to their most fragile state; one where they reveal dark secrets and vivid details only a closest friend would typically know. To listen to Crushing, one also must experience Julia Jacklin’s most personal moments with her. As the sparse opening track, “Body” comes to an end, the Australian songwriter has already unloaded a lot from her chest. It’s a song with so much going on lyrically – a fight in an airport, a break-up, the aftermath – that it takes a few listens just to catch up with every vulnerable detail.

As Jacklin reminisces through the many, many verses of “Body”, she spills her guts all over the floor: I remembered early days/When you took my camera/Turned to me, twenty-three/Naked on your bed/Looking straight at you. Things get a little darker when she questions if her ex still has that photograph, and would he use it to hurt her? So why is Jacklin telling us all these intimate details It’s simple. Crushing is her therapy.

For her to just put this out in the word as a way of saying, “I’m not going to let this define me” is a bit chill-inducing. Recovering from the ruins of a destructive relationship, Jacklin’s approach to Crushing is to just tell it how it is. Not every song is a poignant ballad of heartbreak, though. Following the confessional opener, “Head Alone” is one of the most addicting tracks she’s ever written – with its Angel Olsen-esque vocals and jangly guitars working in perfect harmony. It’s also full of lyrical gems as she tries repeatedly to separate love and sex. Hearing her shout “You can love somebody without using your hands” to an ignorant lover is one of the album’s most raw, affecting moments. Jacklin’s vocals are far from one-dimensional here, switching between a soft croon and a gruff demeanor with the ease of a light switch. “You Were Right” and “Pressure to Party” are also highly upbeat cuts, showcasing the best of Jacklin’s country-rock side. The latter closes out the opening trio of songs with a bang – a cute indie rock tune that refuses to leave your head with its constant, circular motion.

The quirky tracks add an extra kick to Crushing, but it’s often the softer moments when Jacklin has the most to say. “When the Family Flies In” is musically calm – little more than a hushed piano throughout – but, like “Body”, it has more of an affect than the more active numbers. The same could be said about the intoxicating closing track. Moments that might seem typical musically upon first listen are so rich in their lyrical content. Her storytelling ability raises these songs above just your standard indie fare. Crushing is intimate but messy. It’s a break-up album at its core, but it’s also about reclaiming your independence and loving your own mind and body. There are so many substantial moments that will stick with you. When Jacklin requests a full-length mirror in “Head Alone” – her voice as silky-smooth as ever – she’s more or less declaring what Crushing is. It’s an album that truly allows you to see the whole picture, as Jacklin examines her decisions, her purpose – even the value of her body. Few albums can make such bold statements without seeming heavy-handed, but Jacklin’s sophomore effort feels as natural as the words rolling off her tongue.



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user ratings (89)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Atari
Staff Reviewer
February 23rd 2019


24847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3 | Sound Off

streaming a few places. I know this is basically a track by track of sorts in disguise but man, this album tells a story.



https://www.npr.org/2019/02/14/693657988/first-listen-julia-jacklin-crushing



https://juliajacklin.bandcamp.com/

Digging: Oso Oso - Basking in the glow

Hawks
February 23rd 2019


73126 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Listening to this now, it’s so good.

Digging: Erang - Kingdom Of Erang

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
February 23rd 2019


42371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

great review, I like this a lot. Convention and Good Guy are fucking brutal

Digging: Strange Ranger - Remembering the Rockets

anatelier
February 23rd 2019


2861 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i'm not sure if anything separates this from others of its ilk. it certainly has its charms but it stops short of being actually interesting.

Digging: Red Hearse - Red Hearse

Hawks
February 23rd 2019


73126 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I mean it really doesn’t tbh but it’s executed so well.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
February 23rd 2019


24847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3 | Sound Off

It’s a lyrics album imo. Not that I don’t find the music itself interesting, but that’s what sold me on this the most.



Cheers fellas. Wasn’t expecting people to jump on this so fast lol

anatelier
February 23rd 2019


2861 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

it's not horrible by any stretch, but it is a dime a dozen album for me. not inherently a bad thing, of course, i'm just in no rush to return to it.

Hawks
February 23rd 2019


73126 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That’s understandable. m/

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
February 23rd 2019


7890 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Her voice is incredible too

Digging: where is my spaceship - Never Unhappy

Hawks
February 23rd 2019


73126 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Reminds me a lot of Julien Baker tbh.

rabidfish
February 23rd 2019


5274 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

agreed with anatelier here... It's aight, but i ain't coming back to this. There's nothing specifically interesting or grabbing about it.

klap
Staff Reviewer
February 23rd 2019


12164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice dude, love Jacklin

Digging: Jay Som - Anak Ko

Divaman
February 23rd 2019


4014 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I know the site as a whole hates track-by-track reviews, but there are times when it's a legitimate choice.

Digging: Barrie - Happy To Be Here

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
February 23rd 2019


16666 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Have to check this, been meaning to check her debut for a while now

DoofDoof
February 23rd 2019


4836 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Some of the more uptemp moments almost sounded like a female vox Car Seat Headrest to me, something about the construction of her lyrics :/



It's not a bad album, second listen was a bit better than the first but still hard 2.5 territory

naughtcturnal
February 23rd 2019


1231 Comments


saw angel olsen in the tags. will check, thanks

Digging: Silver Jews - Bright Flight

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
February 23rd 2019


2995 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Love this review, Atari, fantastic work.

Digging: Florist (NY) - Emily Alone

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
February 23rd 2019


56898 Comments


this look good

Eons
February 24th 2019


2353 Comments


Man that girl looks just like a girl I used to be in love with. In a relationship with her for a while. It ended poorly. Conflicting feelings now. Will listen later.

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
February 24th 2019


2995 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm so happy, this is so good.



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