I am so glad I gave this album a second chance.
People are always so high on Julia Holter's work, and I was just about ready to dismiss it as another "I guess I just don't get it" thing. Julia released Ekstasis last year, and I gave it one or two spins and each time I was terribly bored by it. I wasn't excited for her new album, but again, people were raving about it so I figured "why not".
On my first listen... nothing.
I don't know why I came back to it, but I am glad I did.
Julia's brand of pop music is what some are calling "ambient pop". (Which is kind of a silly genre name, but then what genre name isn't?) While it did sound unstructured and very "background music only" on my first listen, it is strange to call this "ambient" once you are familiar with it.
As the hokey genre would suggest, Julia's music is very full sounding. Where there's not a drum beat, there are ethereal synths and strings layered on top of Julia's reverbed-out vocals. Where there is a drum beat, however, there is excellent motion in the music with a seductiveness akin to the recent Rhye album from this year.
As I learned today, it may take two listens for this one to sink in. Enjoy: