8.3 - Great
What a treat of an album.
Before jumping into Jubilee, I had absolutely no clue what to expect. It’s an album that struck me with its mystery, as I had never past heard of Japanese Breakfast, but the album cover is absolutely stunning. I also heard of it’s praise and hype from the singles, which had good responses. So yeah, you can say I jumped into Jubilee blind, and what I got was an extremely well done pop album that left me in a state of sweetness and warmth after listening.
For some background, Japanese Breakfast, also known as Michelle Zauner, is an indie rock/experimental pop artist from Oregon, born in South Korea. Mostly everything on Jubilee, other than some co-producing and drums from Craig Hendrix, as well as some instruments from specific players, is all done by her. She is a solo act after all, and let me say, Jubilee made me very impressed. Firstly, the songwriting, which is extremely well done front to back, even if it covers usual topics. Zauner is really talented at tying in themes of heartbreak and love, while being the center of attention which can be seen on the opener Paprika, even having lyrical themes of power dynamics and abuse in wealthy couples on the banger Savage Good Boy. She has a very nice way of using simplicity to her benefit, creating lyrics that are sharp, but never too overbearing.
In terms of vocals, man is Zauner a talent. She has a soft yet charming signature, that is quite recognizable, and works well hand in hand with her lyrical theming. She just gives great, wholesome performances throughout the runtime, which can be seen in the heartfelt hook of the bop that is Be Sweet, or her layered, bittersweet vocals on Kokomo, IN. Speaking on quality, running at 35 minutes, Zauner definitely has a sense of what works and what does not, which can also be seen in the pretty gorgeous production throughout the listen. I’d like to mention tracks like Kokomo, IN and Tactics, with their lush strings and simplicity that doesn’t feel too simple. Or with tracks like the closer, Posing For Cars, the longest track on the listen, which has an absolutely mesmerizing guitar solo towards the second half that is just *chef’s kiss.* The mixing is also very good, with everything being extremely clear, and it is quite consistent, even if I do prefer some tracks over others. Overall, I’m very impressed with Jubilee, and with how accessible it is, I can easily recommend it to anyone looking for a great time.
Best tracks: Paprika, Be Sweet, Kokomo,IN, Slide Tactics, Posing in Bondage, Savage Good Boy, Tactics, Posing For Cars
Least fav: n/a