Jurre Timmer
Fragmented


4.3
superb

Review

by Simon K. STAFF
May 4th, 2024 | 8 replies


Release Date: 05/03/2024 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Jurre's darkest and most emotionally charged project yet.

Last year, Thurnin released what I consider to be one of the best albums of 2023. Útiseta is a wonderful neofolk record drenched in ethereal Pagan aesthetics, and has tightly-knit compositions with distinct acoustic guitar playing, wind instruments, and tasteful percussion elements. While Menhir is a solid album in its own right, Útiseta manages to capture a uniquely winning formula to build upon for future releases, and I still frequently revisit it for its inimitable brand of folk music. However, not even a year after its release and Thurnin’s mastermind, Jurre Timmer, has set out to release his first solo album in 2024. What’s interesting about this release is it’s technically not new. Fragmented was initially a project from ten years ago, but was rediscovered by Jurre and had so much potential, it was rebuilt from the ground up, re-recorded and expanded upon with two brand new songs. The record feels like a familiar offering, utilising similar chord progressions and arrangements echoic to Útiseta, however, you can see why Fragmented is made to be a separate entity from the Thurnin project. Where Útiseta feels like you’re wading through a vast, sacred forgotten land filled with intrigue and mystery, Fragmented feels crushingly sombre in tone and approach, and completely isolated from the world around it. Of course, the remote area we inhabit still feels fantastical and spiritual in nature, but it’s impossible to overlook the fact everything feels much more grounded, downcast and oppressive in its approach; almost as if the songs were dirges for lost friends or family.

Indeed, Fragmented doesn’t quite hit the same grand heights as Thurnin’s sophomore album, but in all honesty, it’s not something you can fairly compare it to either, as the two albums have very different world views and objectives. As I touched on earlier; while this has a diaphanous, fantastical glaze over the songs, it’s ultimately planted in reality. It’s clear Fragmented is an intimate and extremely personal project, and with that comes its greatest strength: it’s cuttingly more emotionally charged. The string arrangements, piano and vocal harmonies on here can be gut-wrenching at times, as if Jurre is channeling all of his pain and sorrow into the recordings. One song that really got to me was “Reborn from Grief”, with its swelling instrumental build up and Jurre’s agonising vocal harmonies blanketed in the energised blare. “A Dying Flame” works in a similar fashion and has these peaks that command you emotionally. I also really loved the opening to “Mosaic”, which has the sound of rain in the background and boots walking along the creaking floorboards, as they approach the recording mic. It’s a relatively innocuous and banal moment when you write it down, but it works so well in capturing the raw essence and loneliness this record emits.

Overall, Fragmented is a fantastic release, but it’s not quite as user-friendly as Jurre’s other neofolk works. For me personally, this was an emotionally draining release that left me feeling good after I’d heard it, but a little sad at the same time. And for that, I can see myself going for Utiseta over this if I’m looking to listen to one of Jurre’s albums in the near future. That’s not to disparage what Fragmented does so well here though – this is a record which overtly channels pain and sorrow into something constructive, and you can genuinely feel that in the songs. Fragmented has Thurnin’s modus operandi at the centre of it all, but the direction here is much more tangible, exposed and solely based on coming to terms with loss and tragedy. It’s heavy sh*t, and something every human being can relate to. If nothing else, Jurre has released yet another milestone in his inevitably long and illustrious career.




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user ratings (15)
3.9
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Hawks
May 5th 2024


90774 Comments


Damn definitely gotta hear this.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
May 5th 2024


18370 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

You’ll dig hawks. Check that night watch record too, you love that as well

Elynna
May 6th 2024


1449 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review. I think this is the best thing he has done so far

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
May 6th 2024


18370 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

Yeah, it’s really great, but utiseta hits all the marks for me

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
May 6th 2024


6042 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is pretty cool, thanks for the heads up, Gonzo!

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
May 7th 2024


18370 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

no worries sunny. if you're wanting more like this, cheque his main project thurnin bud.

DungeonBoy
May 7th 2024


9844 Comments


This reminds me a lot of Ulvesang at times, I would imagine the possibility of some inspiration there. The guitars were recorded and mixed very well on this, and there are some striking melodies and passages on this that really resonate. Would like to spend more time with this one.

Thurnin
May 7th 2024


3 Comments


Dungeonboy, Ulvesang is actually a big inspiration to me, but almost all of this was written 5 years before their debut so that is just a coincidence on this album. I appreciate the kind words of everyone here, much appreciated!



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