Loud City Song - Julia Holter
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 66 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 61 out of 66
  2. Negative: 4 out of 66

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  1. Sep 6, 2013
    5
    I am totally on the fence with this one. I want to like it. But ultimately I feel it's a bit overrated. Unusual yes and that is a good thing. But it feels like a sorbet when you are extremely hungry nice, refreshing, but doesn't hit the spot. Maybe I'll have to give it a few more listens but there's not much to grasp onto here.
  2. Aug 25, 2013
    9
    The best way I know how to describe this album is by saying that this is the album that David Byrne and St. Vincent's album, Love This Giant, should have been. The varying vocal styles, the energetic baroque-pop, the eccentric lyrics, and a mix between the ambient and atmosphere, as well as bouncier arrangements and more jubilant sounds. Tight songwriting, natural sounding production, and as cohesive as could be, this is one of the most solid listens that anyone will find this year. Standouts, like "Horns Surrounding Me," "In the Green Wild," and "City Appearing" are three of the best tracks of any other songs of 2013, but each track on this record is something special. This is a must-listen album. Expand
  3. Aug 25, 2013
    8
    Like listening to someone's thoughts throughout a day, "Loud City Song" holds a surreal theme, yet does so through the exploration of peaks and valleys. Many of the low key compositions and arrangements are intense and take a bit of getting used to. Once you're there and have occupied Julia's train of thought, it becomes as comfortable as a cup of unusual tea you can't help but drink to the bottom (and gets tastier with every refill). Regardless of hints at possible influences Julie Anderson and others, this is overall a lovely and original effort with true moments of brilliance. Expand
  4. Aug 20, 2013
    10
    This is simply the best album of 2013 so far, the beauty of the songs and the voice of Julia are magnificent. The sounds and the lyrics are incredible and the albums is a masterpiece!
  5. Aug 24, 2013
    9
    This is a very good and original album. Love the gentle texture and rhythms of each of the songs. Very relaxing. After several listens, Maxim's I, Hello Stranger and This is a True Heart are standouts for me; however, all songs are great. One of the best albums this year.
  6. Jun 30, 2014
    7
    From the beginning, I went into "Loud City Song" not knowing or hearing prior music by Julia Holter. Nothing at all, completely new and different music my ears were being treated too. Right off the bat, Julia's soft and delicate voice, yet sounding hopeless croons "Heaven, all the heavens of the world." The strings then begin to swell throughout the track, accentuating Julia's dainty vocal delivery. It starts minimal and never seems to change throughout. The rest of the record exposes Julia's knack for avante-garde style chamber pop. It may seem inaccessible at first, which it is, but true patrons of indie/experimental music who have patience and incessantly listen will be rewarded with an album that you'll think is a beautiful, haunting, disturbing record that none of your musically inclined friends will even give a chance. The atmosphere this LP emanates will no doubt drift you into a sea of puffy clouds, especially the track "Hello Stranger". The strings seem to put me in a trance, while the synths are what make me feel as if I'm floating away from where I stand each time I listen to this song. To me, these are the best vocal deliveries Julia gives on this record.

    All In All, this is a very eerie, almost depressing album that gets better every time I listen to it. B
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  7. Nov 6, 2013
    10
    Julia Holter viene da Los Angeles (‘dove tutti sembrano invisibili e perciò mi piace’) e prende spunto per questo suo terzo disco, da un film ambientato a Parigi agli inizi del Novecento, il musical ‘Gigi’. La pellicola di Vincent Minnelli con Leslie Caron, va riconosciuto, un bel salto rispetto alla classicità greca, in special modo di ambito tragico, ispiratrice dei lavori precedenti (la ragazza ha studiato e non si vergogna di farcelo sapere): il risultato un lavoro più aperto e variegato che non tralascia le oscurità capaci di distillare angoscia, ma capace di avventurarsi su sentieri diversi, contrassegnati da una certa aura pop e, soprattutto, da incursioni nel jazz che rendono più facile (sebbene mai scontato o banale) l’approccio. Già l’iniziale ‘World’ in fondo, una torch-song con la bella voce di Julia che si appoggia su uno sfondo di carezzevoli fiati, idea che viene poi amplificata con però una prevalenza di archi nella successiva ‘Maxim’s I’ il riferimento più diretto a ‘Gigi’ che si rivela assai più accogliente di quanto possa fare pensare al primo impatto. Gli angoli bui non mancano, come nel piccolo incubo metropolitano che gli ansimanti fiati creano in ‘Horns surrounding me’ prima che le tastiere vadano a ripescare anche Siouxsie, oppure nella sfuggente ‘Maxim’s II’ che, alternando minacciosi silenzi a una voce recitante tra ottoni da banda e un sassofono obliquo, potrebbe fare da colonna sona a un film dell’orrore: al confronto la pianistica, eterea ‘He’s running through my eyes’ un sospiro di sollievo, per non parlare poi del pop, sintetico e minimale, che contrassegna la meno tormentata ‘In the green wild’. Tra sogno e incubo si sviluppano invece i sette minuti della conclusiva ‘City appearing’, dall’inizio garbato con il canto accompagnato dal pianoforte, ma sviluppata in un crescendo tra dissonanze assortite che portano il disco a terminare su note non certo rassicuranti: quasi l’autrice voglia far dimenticare, o comunque diminuire il peso, della precedente ‘This is a true haeart’e il suo profilo da Bacharach trattenuto sullo sfondo di un notturno urbano con tanto di carezzevole assolo di sax. Sonorità che non fanno apparire certo un caso che, al centro dei nove brani in programma, ci sia una lunga versione del classico di Barbara Lewis ‘Hello stranger’: brano a rischio, viste le millanta interpretazioni che ne sono state date, eppure restituito immerso in un’atmosfera languida e avvolgente di tastiere e archi che colpisce subito nel segno. Tutti insieme, i pezzi non ne ho voluto tralasciare alcuno perché una scelta sarebbe stata difficile e ingiusta assemblano un accurato ritratto della vita in una moderna metropoli, tra opportunità e spersonalizzazione, che ben si accorda con l’oscurità spezzata da immagini sfocate sfoggiata in copertina: soprattutto, però, vanno a costituire quaranta minuti, o poco più, di musica che spande attorno a sé un alone di luminosa (malgrado quanto scritto sopra) bellezza. Expand
  8. Jun 25, 2014
    9
    The album that almost passed Yeezus as my favourite record of 2013.

    The only meh thing about this album is the closing track takes a bit too long to develop and starts to drag on just a little bit.

    Fav tracks: All but the last one

    Least fav track: City appearing.
  9. Dec 25, 2013
    10
    One of the albums that has completely captured my attention. An album that satisfies you from start to hear that, despite having only 9 songs you want even more. I love this.
  10. Jan 19, 2014
    9
    Beautiful and surprising album. I'll be playing this one for a long long time. Pretty much addresses every quality I look for in an album. Every song has a very deep, orchestral feel. This isn't the kind of album you are going to want to play loudly in a car full of friends, but rather an album best enjoyed in solitude..
Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 30
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 30
  3. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Jan 27, 2014
    80
    Her songs are challenging, expansive and cinematic, turning minimalist melodies on their heads and redefining the limits of pop. [Oct 2013, p.103]
  2. Sep 4, 2013
    80
    Loud City Song is her most broadly scoped and epic album to date.
  3. Loud City Song is a true achievement from Julia Holter. Nary is there a hook on the album, but the richness and vividness that she brings to the songs musically and lyrically will hook you more effectively anyway.