Cover image for Taiga
Title:
Taiga
Author:
Zola Jesus, 1989- , composer, performer.
Publication Information:
[Place of publication not identified] : Mute, [2014]
Physical Description:
1 audio disc (42 min.) : CD audio, digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Title from sell sheet.

Compact disc.

Lyrics on container insert.
Language:
English
Contents:
Taiga -- Dangerous days -- Dust -- Hunger -- Go (Blank sea) -- Ego -- Lawless -- Nail -- Long way down -- Hollow -- It's not over.
UPC:
724596961124
Format :
Music CD

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Summary

Summary

On the surface, Taiga is easily Zola Jesus' most accessible album. With each release, Nika has peeled away the layers of noise blanketing her music; Versions, her orchestral collaboration with J.G. Thirlwell, also reflected her sound's increasing refinement. She made Taiga with her most honed palette of sounds yet, fusing brass and strings with beats and synths into a majestic yet poignant sound that recalls Björk's Homogenic, especially on the stately title track and "Hunger"'s frantic rhythms. Emphasizing her biggest strengths -- her huge voice, ringing melodies, and thoughtful lyrics -- should take Taiga to new heights, and at times it does. She embraces her newfound pop side wholeheartedly, and many moments suggest that this transformation holds promise. It's more than a little remarkable how well she harnesses her power into songs with clearly delineated hooks and choruses: "Dangerous Days" is equally glowering and joyous, echoing Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill" with its galloping beat as well as the moody electropop Sia took to the top of the charts earlier in 2014. Meanwhile, "Dust"'s slinky rhythms and brass combine R&B and classical leanings into something bewitching. It's notable that Nika was often more vulnerable when separated from her listeners by swaths of distortion on previous albums than she is on Taiga, though she does provide respites with more delicate moments like "Lawless" and the uniquely confessional "Ego." Even if it's not her most intimate work, Taiga allows Nika to be inventive and craft some some stunningly beautiful moments along the way. ~ Heather Phares