Jenny Hval - The Practice of Love
Jenny goes to the disco...sort of. Hval's ongoing reflections on the female experience take a new shape here, and one I didn't personally see coming. Given the context of her music and her artistic trajectory, I'd assumed her work would become more abrasive as time went on, and while she's not totally abandoned all of her outre instincts (there's a spoken word piece here, right in the middle of the record), The Practice of Love is a surprisingly accessible record. Whereas previous albums have each had a stand-out track that ends up defining the record (e.g. The Battle Is Over, Conceptual Romance), here she's created a cohesive and immersive genre piece that works a whole, and to achieve this, she's put a bit of a donk on it. I'm not saying you can dance to this, but it wouldn't sound out of place next to, say, Coil's Theme From the Gay Man's Guide to Safer Sex, itself a surprising turn towards low key balaeric almost-disco. It's a strangely effective vehicle for her often profound and tac sharp lyrics - that line about finding stretch mark cream in an AirBnB is especially killer. Wasn't expecting to like this as much as i did.
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