This album is an amazing piece of work, fuck, scratch that it is a flawless piece of art. From start to finish every inch of this record pleases my ears and makes me swoon with all kinds of joy. There is a new flavour scattered throughout the album but it still has that wonderful ache that Jen Cloher is renowned for. The main difference between this album and Jen’s previous work is the more “rock n roll” vibe of the songs.
There is a fierce new focus on display with “In Blood Memory” and I can’t help but hear “The Breeders” every time I listen to this album. That amazing slacker discipline is dripping from every song with all of the simplicity and a whole heap of “right on” swagger. This is the kind of record that Neil Young would make with Crazy Horse, a total blissed out garage rock masterpiece.
I’ve received a lot of rock n roll in my inbox lately and it all makes the same mistake, too much party and not enough arty. That is where “In Blood Memory” differs from the current crop of youth culture triple j elite, this album actually has a bit of soul. In fact the album has the joy and celebration sway of a soul record with each song being like a hymn of praise to the dark and light aspects of love. The music convinces you to believe in something and shows an extreme amount of life in the process. This is the album that will not just reward the faithful fans of Jen Cloher but also a new legion of human beings who are willing to just get lost in the unreal rapture that is “In Blood Memory” – fuck me this album is glorious.
When I reflect on what makes a great album I think about the way an artist attacks all my senses. There has to be an initial explosion from the moment you turn the album on that pulls you in and just takes over your world. A great album will infect you deeply with every inch of it swirling in your head. It will be all you think about, it will consume you to the point of needing to clear schedules just so you can hear it. You’ll arrive to work 15 minutes late just so you can hear that bit more of it in your car stereo. A great album will block out all of the cruelty of the world and in its place create a world of beauty designed by your own imagination. Some albums simply sound great and you can acknowledge the craftsmanship that went into its creation. Other albums, the ones that matter and the ones that are timeless will never need to be explained beyond the way it leaves you changed. An album is merely a piece of dialogue between you and the artists involved, sometimes it can be simple small talk but other times it will erupt years of meaningful conversations and answers to your questions. It will serve as the ultimate imaginary friend and will help you celebrate life no matter the occasion or emotion. A great album will be a timeless artefact that helps give meaning to your life and act as the best voice for that internal yearning that you feel.
That is what happens when I listen to “In Blood Memory” and it is only in its infancy in terms of its release and the time I’ve spent with it. It is the right album for the space I find myself in at this current moment and regardless of what people believe or interpret as “being successful” I know within my own heart and from listening with my own ears that Jen Cloher has made a new modern classic that should be worshiped and ripped off by anyone and everyone looking to make a timeless piece of art.
There is no question, Jen Cloher has made a masterpiece with “In Blood Memory” and you’d be foolish to ignore the power of this record and Jen Cloher as an artist.
So turn the fucking radio off, buy this album immediately and let it soundtrack your winter. You’ll be thankful that you did.
10 cassette tapes out of 10
By: Dan Newton