Young Jesus
Shepherd Head


3.7
great

Review

by Sunnyvale STAFF
September 30th, 2022 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The name’s Jesus… Young Jesus

Over the course of six full-lengths and an EP, Young Jesus have covered a lot of musical territory: their early works were a distinctive mix of The National-style indie rock, emo, and folk, which then morphed into several albums of some sort of proggy math-emo with a hint of jazz. 2020’s Welcome To Conceptual Beach was both well-received and the group’s most widely noticed record by some margin, but, in true Young Jesus fashion, the follow-up once again throws precedent out the window. This dramatic shift is obvious from the fact that new album Shepherd Head was crafted by Young Jesus founding member John Rossiter with no bandmates and no guitars.

Comprised of eight songs totaling under a half-hour in duration, Shepherd Head is a concise listen, but an oddly sporadic one nonetheless. Upon cursory listen, you’ll run the gamut from a beautiful, Bon Iver-esque tune (“Ocean”, one of two tracks to feature indie/folk up-and-comer Tomberlin) to a grandiose, pulsating electronic climax (“Satsuma”) to a spoken word piece over skittering rhythms (“A Lake”, the closer). In between, there’s a lot of intriguing moments and a sense of accumulated atmosphere, with Rossiter’s somber vocals providing an anchor alongside a plethora of chill beats.

In totality, Shepherd Head is undoubtedly a solid release, especially considering the u-turns which make it, clearly, a different kind of Young Jesus record. While I’m not sure that the album’s scattershot nature will endear it to a broader audience, its tenuous genre affiliations leave a potentially wide range of listeners in the crosshairs. At the very least, Shepherd Head is worth some spins for longtime Young Jesus fans, even those wary of it given the changes made since Welcome To Conceptual Beach.



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user ratings (24)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2022


6031 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Pretty strange album but also worth some attention.

theBoneyKing
September 30th 2022


24564 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice little review! I’ve been enjoying this quite a bit, a very nice headphones record, lots of cool textures.

SlothcoreSam
September 30th 2022


6258 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is great lazy morning music

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2022


4052 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Really good write-up. Expected a lot less positivity around this, gonna stop checking rym.

WatchItExplode
September 30th 2022


10476 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This makes a lot of sense as a pandemic album and the way they usually record their music. Still solid, undoubtedly and leaves me looking forward to whatever comes next.

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2022


6031 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Thanks guys!



I hadn't realized the RYM reception was subpar for this, granted scores tend be lower on that site.

theBoneyKing
September 30th 2022


24564 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You can see me complaining about the low RYM score in the Shoutbox there. 😜

SlothcoreSam
October 1st 2022


6258 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

RYM just want experimental weird shit now-days. The more "out there" an album is, the more RYM users think they are discovering "the next big thing" or the "game changer in the music scene".

North0House2
October 1st 2022


6153 Comments


I love these guys, I gotta check this out. They are always really pleasantly weird.

nightbringer
October 1st 2022


2733 Comments


Had no idea this was out. Loved their last record so will be checking this.


BigTuna
October 2nd 2022


5907 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Love to throw this on while working or writing.

tcat84
October 3rd 2022


1341 Comments


I've been really into these guys but this album was kinda disappointing compared to their previous albums. Feels like a different band almost

Cormano
October 6th 2022


4201 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ocean is still the best tune here



feels so strange to listen to a yj record that doesn't even crack the 30 min mark lol, wish there was more of this to sink my teeth into



also I don't mind the sound change, Conceptual Beach really felt like the end of a road that they've been exploring for a while kinda like what happened with the Swans trilogy





WatchItExplode
January 17th 2023


10476 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm still listening to this a ton. Really pretty, comforting music.

SlothcoreSam
January 17th 2023


6258 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah this was a grower, and a few tracks have remained with me since release.



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