Album Review – Julien Baker – ‘Sprained’ (Singer-Songwriter/Alternative/Indie)

Julien-Baker---Sprained-AnkleArticle By By Michael Smith 
4/5 Dragons
From Decembers 2015 Vandala Magazine 
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This debut album from the Memphis-based singer-songwriter is a masterfully written and performed work of tragic beauty. Baker fearlessly bares her soul on this emotionally heavy album that’s as heart wrenching as it sublime. With most tracks needing nothing more than a guitar or piano, the music pairs with her delicate voice to illustrate the sadness of the past with the strength she still has of a better future. The ability to make her listeners feel her own emotions is uncanny, and by the end of the record, you almost think you know her personally. Emotions gush out of every song. It would be impossible to ignore the way they mirror your own inward pains, as is highlighted throughout most of the standout track “Rejoice.” Even the most nihilistic soul becomes misty-eyed. This cathartic experience creates the attitude of the album, and listeners will have the sense that with every play of a track, spin of a record, live performance, etc, some demons are exercised from both her, and from whoever is listening.

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