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Joanna Newsom - Ys Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 9.5
Musicianship 9.5
Lyrics 10
Production 8.75
Creativity 9
Lasting Value 8.5
Reviewer Tilt 9.25
Final Verdict: 92%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9.67
Musicianship 9.75
Lyrics 9.75
Production 9
Creativity 9.83
Lasting Value 8.5
Reviewer Tilt 9.67
Average: 95%
Inside AP.net

Joanna Newsom - Ys

Reviewed by: Greg Dona (11/30/06)
Listening primarily to an array of hip-hop and pop discs for an extended period of time leaves one wanting more from their music lyrically. Eventually listeners begin to accept commonplace traps rap lines as literary proficiency despite the obvious shortcomings in substance exhibited in the writing. Then comes along Joanna Newsom, bringing engaging music and, more importantly, reminding listeners of the beauty of legitimately impressive literacy.

So much of Newsom’s Ys massages the ear in just the right way. Joanna steadies her gorgeous voice when relatively lonely and accompanied by an insignificant number of instruments. Her therapeutic singing manages to warm body and soul alike with its kind, charming din. It both relaxes and energizes, putting the listener in a tranquil state while keeping him or her awake and on the edge of his or her seat. Joanna Newsom’s musical backing performs a similar function. She utilizes strings impeccably, layering a multitude of rapidly plucked string instruments, which soothe with their smooth tones while exciting with their fast pace. The vast multitude of instruments employed by Newsom and her collaborators require listeners to avoid an effortless listen and truly pay attention to the progression of the album. Then fans fully appreciate the intense moments of frantic instrumental musings met with the warbling wail in Newsom’s most disorganized, natural moments. Without proper attention paid, these times seem more like periods of novice experimentation and wandering, but the music fanatic recognizes the brilliance present. The aforementioned top 40 fanatic must now focus on a record of songs and not just a haphazard, random banger followed by yet another bouncy hit. For this reason Joanna’s tracks lend themselves rather reluctantly to the iPod inspired play list style of musical indulgence. Granted this signifies not an inferior quality of the CD, but rather just an obstacle for the casual listener. However, once one hurdles that burden and accepts the disc for its comprehensiveness their efforts prove entirely worthwhile.

The lyrical work provides assuredly the most impressive part of Ys. Critics of current popular music and throngs of underground artists alike praise the artist who manages to work a few similes and metaphors into their songs during which they wear their arm on their sleeve. Legitimate rhyming provides a cause for excessive, exuberant celebration. Joanna Newsom comes along to remind the world of the sound of true brilliance. She weaves elaborate tales, which develop symbolic characters, making points regarding the deepest of issues with animals as her main focuses. Newsom’s diction covers an expanse as varying as a thesaurus. Her images shine brilliantly and burn brightly in her listener’s mind long after the bare words exit their aural cavities. Newsome created on her latest efforts likely the most developed, intelligent album when considering literary prowess.

Most people enjoy a good club track that brings a pounding beat and danceable vocal tracking to the table. Those same people love quoting simplistic lines such as “I’m bringing sexy back” repeatedly after only one listen. But everyone needs a bit of complicated, well though out music to compliment the mindless, auditory fun we consume on such a regular basis. Joanna Newsom gives us the perfect, complete record to fill that intelligent void in our lives.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 47.
03:23 PM on 11/30/06
#2
whyte39
www.alexwhyte.com
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im going to check this out, sounds like it will be worth a listen
03:55 PM on 11/30/06
#3
Domenic182
probably been here longer than you
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Casey bought this.
I might too if he says it's good.
03:57 PM on 11/30/06
#4
lvysmchthrtsmhd
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this album is absolutley amazing.
04:02 PM on 11/30/06
#5
oconnill
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i feel her musicianship isnt as refined as say Plus 44. Lets review some absolute punk!!!

p.s. defiantly not a danceable album. who ever said this was the next fever i cant sweat out totally lied!! NEW AGE CABRET 06!!!
04:10 PM on 11/30/06
#6
Neptune
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wow. the first album even worthy of a review on absolutepunk in a long time.
04:29 PM on 11/30/06
#7
concernedparent
I'm very concerned.
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I'm really glad you reviewed this. Good job sir.
04:43 PM on 11/30/06
#8
GAD_guy
the sea of doubts
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for me, this is one of those albums that you know is good but can't into it. and i usually love shit like this so i don't know what's going on. maybe i just need more time.
06:04 PM on 11/30/06
#9
buttons
sup sup.
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joanna newsom<333
06:41 PM on 11/30/06
mogwaifearsatan
feels good man
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for me, this is one of those albums that you know is good but can't into it. and i usually love shit like this so i don't know what's going on. maybe i just need more time.

I'm the same way.
06:57 PM on 11/30/06
kennethagee
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God this cd is beautiful, i love it.
08:02 PM on 11/30/06
FeynmanWannabe
Take Ecstasy With Me
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Hey, it's my avatar! :-D

Thanks for reviewing this. Good stuff.
08:28 PM on 11/30/06
TheJon
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Wow, that was quite possibly the most awkward review I've ever read in my entire life. Here's a tip... the less compound sentences & 3+ syllabol words, the better. It sounds like you're just regurgitating other reviewers' points. Your wording and sentence structure are both really awkward, which makes me wonder if you can truely appreciate the record the way you claim to, as succinct and pointed as the writing and arranging is on this record.

And how in the world do you review Ys without a single mention of harps or Van Dyke Parks?


Ys is not a record to remind the average music consumer of the intellectual aspects of music... it's a record for those who already appreciate them. The songs are all between 7 & 16 minutes in length, which you also failed to mention. Most Justin Timberlake fans aren't going to be able to sit through sixteen minutes of harp with no verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus structure.


Unless you have prior interest in "intellectual" indie stuff like Sufjan or Davandra Banhart, I suggest you start with the Decemberists' cover of Bridges & Balloons. And then listen to her first record, the Milk-Eyed Mender, a few times. And then pick up Ys.

Jon.
09:03 PM on 11/30/06
JunkBondTrader
Judas seems sincere...
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this album is fucking so good. top 5 of the year for sure. i fucking love it.
09:10 PM on 11/30/06
Greg Dona
Ass Shakin' Comp. Champ
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Wow, that was quite possibly the most awkward review I've ever read in my entire life. Here's a tip... the less compound sentences & 3+ syllabol words, the better. It sounds like you're just regurgitating other reviewers' points. Your wording and sentence structure are both really awkward, which makes me wonder if you can truely appreciate the record the way you claim to, as succinct and pointed as the writing and arranging is on this record.

And how in the world do you review Ys without a single mention of harps or Van Dyke Parks?


Ys is not a record to remind the average music consumer of the intellectual aspects of music... it's a record for those who already appreciate them. The songs are all between 7 & 16 minutes in length, which you also failed to mention. Most Justin Timberlake fans aren't going to be able to sit through sixteen minutes harp with no verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus structure.


Unless you have prior interest in "intellectual" indie stuff like Sufjan or Davandra Banhart, I suggest you start with the Decemberists' cover of Bridges & Balloons. And then listen to her first record, the Milk-Eyed Mender, a few times. And then pick up Ys.

Jon.

You're right. I can't write well, so I obviously can't appreciate good writing.

I talked about the stringed instruments, and the harp is in that family. I didn't feel like it was necessary to write about the composer. I'll explain later.

I have no excuse for not mentioning the length of the songs. I just forgot about that.

I do have prior interest in that sort of music. Honestly it's quite difficult for me to find anyone these days who hasn't heard Sufjan's work. The Milk-Eyed Mender is a great CD.

Thanks for most of that post. The majority of it was somewhat constructive, so I won't bitch too much. But try not to be so brash. Seriously, I'm still breaking out of the longest, most shackling writer's block of my life. Give me some time to get back into the swing of things.
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