Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Album Review: Valerie June -The Order Of Time

Valerie June
The Order Of Time
**** out of *****
On her second album, the Brooklyn based Valerie June confidently takes over these simple grounded songs with her incredibly unique voice, wide ranging musicality and self confidence; June is officially a force to be reckoned with.

Originally hailing from Tennessee, June keeps an earthy small town tone to all of these tracks. On her excellent full length debut Pushin' Against A Stone she had some big name producers inflicting a bit of their style, The Order Of Time has an easier rolling feeling that fits the multi-instrumentalist even snugger.

A good example is on fantastic opener "Long Lonely Road", this track instantly sets the tone, but if it had arrived on her last disk, Dan Auerbach may have pushed it into more fuzzed out rock territory. It's just fine the way it is (and would probably still sound great souped up) and whether it was the rural Vermont recording process of the sparse instrumentation, this album just feels like a better fit for June.

A simple snare and some banjo picking swirl with layers of her vocals for "Man Done Wrong" while "Shakedown" picks up the tempo and beat. June is chameleon like with music but ethereal with her voice, a gorgeous tracks like the soaring "The Front Door" and "Astral Plane" are dream like, contemplative and melancholy while "With You" has layers of strings and falsetto singing

"Slip Slide On By" is perfectly titled with a gorgeous gospel inspired build and "Love You Once Made" is an exhilarating showcase for June's soaring voice and stout song writing while "Just In Time" suffers from June's genre hopping style a bit trying to work in country/gospel/pop all into one track ending a touch disjointed compared to her other successes here.

All these are before "Got Soul" gets rhythm and dips into a touch of Country-Motown combining fiddles and banjos with B3 organs and horns into a soft yet groove filled dance album closing track.

If there is a detriment to the album it may be that even though June is completely comfortable in various musical styles, the tone of the record is pretty much one note, never rising or falling too far in any direction, but that can also be seen as a strength for a complete work of art. Valerie June has now come out with two real winners and here's hoping the next soars even higher.
Very pumped this disk is so good. We loved her last album even putting it in the Top Ten for the year. This is different but just as solid. Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video below:

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