[ALBUM REVIEW] Zola Jesus – Taiga

A year after Versions, an album made of orchestral covers of her own songs, the Russian American singer-songwriter is coming back with Taiga, her first album to be released through Mute Records.

This change of record company definitely marks a not-so-subtle shift towards popier songwriting; bolstered with a newfound confidence, she offers sophisticated anthems where darkness and light intertwine, reminding the listener of the infamous taiga, the boreal forest found throughout the Northern Hemisphere.

Although the sound has been smoothed in order to make it more ‘accessible’, it voluntarily stays cold and synthetic, though warmed in places by the addition of a brass section – very Woodkid-esque – and solid harmonies.

Even though a few songs are disappointing by their lack of amplitude, this album contains, in fact, a few gems, silver lining above the trees of the taiga.

By Jillian Blandenier

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