ALBUM REVIEW: Joanna Newsom – Divers | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

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two half


Drag City

Released: 23.10.15

More information on Joanna Newsom’s official website


For many, it’s been diminishing returns since Newsom’s astonishing debut, and as the albums got longer and the arrangements lusher, that album’s strengths were lost amid baroque confections and oblique melodies. Divers picks up where triple album behemoth Have One On Me left off, but is at least comparatively compact. Each song, taken in isolation, has its magical moments – Leaving The City and Sapokanikan especially – and Newsom’s voice is still unique and thrilling, but overall it’s too dense and rich, and you feel your musical arteries harden as you force yourself to admire it, all the while wishing for something as melodically direct as The Book Of Write On, all the while cursing Van Dyke Parks under your breath.

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