Julianna Barwick “The Magic Place”

If highlights from this record were being shown on Sportscenter, there would be a “Top 10 Nominee” bug in the corner of the screen. This will be one of my favorite records of 2011, no doubt.
Julianna Barwick does the ethereal Cocteau Twins thing on “The Magic Place,” and that’s right up my alley. It doesn’t have the percussion to be ambient, so it’s just smooth, velvety synths and harmonies, which create musical erections for all who are listening. The title track is also really good. I mean, everything is good, and they all sound the same, because there’s not a lot of potential for variance with this genre. There doesn’t need to be. It’s already what it needs to be. It’s a bit of a tough review to write in that sense.
“White Flag” is also recommended. “Bob in Your Gait” is more piano and less synth. The contrast is breathtaking. If you want funk-free makeout music, look no further.
“Flown” is the last track. Very standard Cocteau Twins-style dreampop. Someday computers will be able to make new versions of this stuff every five minutes, and we’ll never have to make music again. Until then, we have Julianna Barwick. My heart goes out to her for brightening my day.

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