Julia Jacklin: PRE PLEASURE (Polyvinyl) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, December 3rd, 2023  

Julia Jacklin



Aug 26, 2022 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Julia Jacklin’s appropriately titled third album, PRE PLEASURE, finds her moving closer towards an ideal of a jubilant life or at least wishing for better outcomes where love lands as it should. Not one to pull punches, Jacklin remains blunt in her observations, particularly in the stark stripped-down center of the album. A simply repeated synth chord weaves Jacklin through “Too In Love To Die,” which feels an imagined cheerier aviation outcome to prior album Crushing’s devastating opener, “Body.” While the following, “Less of a Stranger” uses an acoustic guitar strum to describe a mother/daughter relationship that’s never cemented as it should.

Jacklin experiments with a bigger pop sound on several tracks, while staying lyrically grounded in sensibly thought through choices. “Let’s keep our doctors appointments,” she gleefully lets fly in the shared responsibility anthem of “Be Careful With Yourself,” as guitars screech and drums crash around her. “I Was Neon” and “Lydia Wears a Cross” are equally boomy and catchy power pop gems. While the stunning “Magic” and “End of a Friendship” add a cinematic flair on par with Richard Hawley’s lushest solo moments. Hawley’s celebratory “Tonight the Streets are Ours” is seemingly recast in “Magic” as what could go well when the planets someday align.

Whether pre-pleasure or paradise deferred, one can’t help but be in Jacklin’s corner given her acute awareness of relationship dynamics and her willingness to put self-analysis to song in the most heart wrenching ways. The lilting stop/start rhythms of the beautifully constructed “Ignore Tenderness” hide challenging to hear details of sexual abuse and misguided advice. Out of compassion, hopefully Jacklin has nothing but sunny days ahead. But her ability to rip out the listener’s heart and stomp it about a bit, on the dance floor or otherwise, will hopefully never leave her. (www.juliajacklin.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 10/10


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