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- Conatus by Zola Jesus
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Surprise of the year last year was my enjoyment of the Zola Jesus album 'Stridulum II' which despite her foghorn like voice being within a hair's breadth of the dreaded Florence/Annie Lennox histrionics beguiled me with its murky lo-fi electronics and chilling atmospheres. This album is pretty much what you might expect, when it's good as on the excellent 'Ixode' it sounds exactly like the debut, vocals layered up indefinitely alternately honking and honking even louder over muddy techno inspired 4/4 beats and a quick flick through the beginners '80s goth synth handbook but when it's bad as on the following 'Seekir' her one dimensional voice really struggles to convey any kind of emotion or soul and veers frighteningly close to the Ikea pop of Florence and her cronies. I can see the trajectory and it makes sense - Zola Jesus isn't going to become a Kate Bush or even a Bat For Lashes - she's here to eventually sell music to people who don't like music. But if we get some good stuff along the way (which about half of this is) then that's fine by me.
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