I want to talk about this album because it speaks immense volume to me, but I want to be exempt from an arbitrary review with a score (in the grander scheme of things) that doesn't mean a whole lot. I'd either be repeating words said by others (better said than I ever could) or I'd be stating points that are way too subjective to help add to the record. I'd practically be talking about myself. Everytime I say to myself "Okay, time for a critical listen." I end up right where I was last listen. Overwhelmed and in tears. The world feels a little purposeless and mundane for me when this album finishes because it's that empowering and gripping during its runtime.
I'm probably testing your patience though. You aren't here to hear some depressed dork on the internet talk about his feewings, you're here to see what I have to say and why this is worth your time. I don't have anything grandiose to say but I will say this: its beauty in stillness. Soltary at times, but never truly alone. Emotional, but never heartbreaking. A timely arrival, but timeless all the same. An old soul in the modern age. If this album doesn't make sense at first give it time and patience. That doesn't mean you HAVE to like it, but the answers, prowess and beauty are all in front of you. An album never without purpose. Go in without expectations of what you want it to be and take it in for what it is. It's probably better than what you're hoping for. Let it carry you somewhere else.
I'll leave you with this bit of imagery from the concert:
It was towards the climax of 'Movies'. Natalie was in the middle of her emotional performance, but it was much more than just a "performance". She was in a completely unraveled state for the crowd to see. It was the finite things really. You could see it in her eyes. How her fingernails were sinking into the microphone cord and how the veins in her hand popped out the more emotional she got. From my angle she was shedding a tear or two. The crowd was a mixed bag. Some folks were in a trance, others dancing and many (and I mean many) were crying. Some all at once. I myself was barely keeping composure. Bare in mind I've never shed a tear at a concert, yet here I was. I'm trying to hide my face when I briefly caught eye contact with the bassist on stage. She's hugging her bass, swooning in place. She's shedding a few tears too. She gives a me a smile and an astonished look. "I know right?" is what I took from it. Afterwards, she chuckles and we wipe our tears. On to the next song....after one hell of an applause of course.