Grace Cummings - Storm Queen
Jan 14, 2022 (updated 1d ago)
93
Thoughts after first listen:

Absolutely lovely record. Got this randomly recommended to me by Spotify & I thought "yeah sure why not, I'll give it a listen."

First of all, Grace's singing is phenomenal, strong, and gorgeous. The emotions in her voice come through so much that even when I didn't know what she was singing about, the songs made me feel things really strongly. (Side note: Obviously 'Sinner Get Ready' by Lingua Ignota is a much darker and more depressing record than 'Storm Queen', but the passion in and overall delivery of Grace's singing reminded me a lot of Lingua Ignota).

Second of all, the instrumentation on this record is generally fairly minimal with a lot of acoustic guitar, but it's so lovely & when Grace does add more layers to the instrumentation, it's very purposeful and effective. Also, the production is excellent & makes her voice come through very clearly while also allowing for the instruments in the background to captivate me as well.

Third of all, the sound on this record is very cohesive and flows really well from track to track, but every song could stand on its own at the same time because all of them are so well crafted and fantastic.

Fav tracks: all of them but especially 'Heaven', 'Freak', 'Here is the Rose', 'Raglan', 'Fly a Kite'

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Thoughts after many more listens (probably about 6 full listens):

I didn't anticipate liking this album more than a 90 (my initial score), but this is at least a 96 for me. Might even become an 100 in the future. I love every track so, so much. The vocals are insanely good. The songwriting is fantastic. The instrumentation is gorgeous and captivating. I love everything about this album, it speaks to me so much. I just don't feel comfortable giving it an 100 (yet) because it just came out & I need more time with it first to make sure.

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Thoughts after more listens:

Yeah ok, it's an 100. Literally the only thing I don't love about this record is that there's longer silences at the end of many of the tracks than I would hope for. The album's content is perfect though.

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"Final" score after more time with the album: 93

Still my #1 album of the year so far & I wouldn't change anything about this record. I just can't truly say that it's on the same level as my other 100s (TPAB and Currents, for example) & I don't think it has as strong of replay value as some of my favorite albums rated slightly higher. Still absolutely stunning & a collection of songs that will undoubtedly always be a favorite of mine.

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