Versions

Zola Jesus - Versions
Critic Score
Based on 19 reviews
User Score
Based on 31 ratings
August 20, 2013 / Release Date
Compilation / Format
Sacred Bones / Label
Art Pop, Chamber Pop / Genres
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CRITIC REVIEWS

89
Paste

Through it all, Danilova is given a clear path to cut right through to the core of each song, and, as a byproduct, the heart of the listener. You can hear the effect that her training in opera has had as each spine-tingling note holds straight and true. 

80
musicOMH

To have these songs reworked and in some cases made even more powerful than the original counterparts is testament to the skills and attention to detail of all those involved. 

80
AllMusic

While Versions may be too tasteful-seeming for die-hard fans of early Zola Jesus, the album's undeniable beauty reveals another accomplished facet to Danilova's music.

76
Pitchfork

Stripped of most electronics, though, these massive hooks and their collective human core are put under a microscope, and it's impressive to see the songs carry themselves without all the dark, propulsive production. 

75
A.V. Club

Even if a few of these songs falter in a side-by-side comparison with the originals, the string-enhanced versions of these songs make for a compelling listen, thanks to Danilova’s poised delivery and the arrangements as a whole, giving her a versatility and appeal beyond her electropop fan base.

70
The 405

It's very pleasant record, and far less emotionally intense (it's less dark) than its predecessors, but therein lies its fault - we love Danilova for her intensity and her sinister chants.

70
The Line of Best Fit

Taken on its own merits Versions is a record by turns beautiful, haunting and light-hearted, and is her best so far, if a little predictably.  

70
DIY

The common thread throughout, perhaps unsurprisingly, is Danilova's voice. It's always been distinctive, with an authoritative sense of controlled power, but here, more than anything, she sounds closer. 

70
Consequence of Sound

Trading hostile sounds for soothing ones has actually allowed Danilova to channel a more complex emotional spectrum. 

69
Beats Per Minute

With repeated listens though, the tracks on Versions don’t entice you back again and again like the ominous hook-laden tracks of Stridulum or even the wide sound palette of Conatus do. Versions is probably best for those who were there at the Guggenheim concert.

tha138
71
The beautiful banshee, more accessible than ever and assisted by J. G. Thirlwell, experiments with neo-classical minimalism through new versions of older material that, this time, reach for the light.
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Track List

  1. Avalance (Slow)
  2. Fall Back
  3. Hikikomori
  4. In Your Nature
  5. Seekir
  6. Sea Talk
  7. Night
  8. Run Me Out
  9. Collapse
  10. Avalanche [Bonus]
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Added on: August 13, 2013