The Magic Place - Julianna Barwick
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14

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  1. Nov 8, 2011
    10
    The Magic Place is not a tree from the Louisiana farm on which Julianna Barwick grew up. It is the state of mind which this beautiful and intelligent record takes us to. Julianna is like a one-woman choir able to stop an ice age. Even when she is wailing, she does it with unsuspected charm. Her ethos of work is pretty simple: turn a single vocal into a multilayered tune by looping it, like, forever. And this works great for you wish these tracks never to stop. This gymnastics requires wit and the outcome is an intricate labyrinth of her glorious voice and occasional instruments. These songs evoke different emotions: there is place for more than just hapiness/sadness dramatics. One is for sure: Julianna never forgets to put her soul into the music. Those who have listened to her Florine EP know what to expect. The penultimate Prizewinning may come as a surprise, though. It is one of the best songs of the year, definitely her best, a triumph of an unstoppable talent. Just like the track itself. Expand
  2. Aug 29, 2011
    10
    Barwick achieves what medieval choirs couldn't, creating what could at times easily be a soundtrack to ascension into heaven, all without giving off any sense of religiosity. I heard this music live first, and in a room of standing people I was driven to sit down and close my eyes under the sheer power of its beauty.
  3. Jun 30, 2011
    5
    I'm afraid it doesn't work for me very well... There's nothing for me to grab onto and pull down. Neither is there anything that sweeps me up and carries me away...
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Jun 15, 2011
    80
    Try as you might to explain Julianna Barwick's incomparable, indescribable music, maybe it's best to let The Magic Place do all the talking, because the results speak for themselves.
  2. Is she singing lyrics? Hard to say. But these songs are unquestionably emotive, and I wouldn't be surprised if they were actually prayers.
  3. May 18, 2011
    80
    The Magic Place is her most fully involved album, suffused with the warmth of fond memories and a deep, dream-like resonance. [Jun 2011, p.96]