Music Review | posted 07.11.2021
Snail Mail
Valentine
Matador, 2021
Text Kristoffer Cornils
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8.6
Editorial
Cover Snail Mail - Valentine

Lindsey Jordan may have a lot of problems, but she also has a talent: she can turn them all into great songs. »Baby, when I’m 30, I’ll laugh about how dumb it felt«, she sang five years ago on the mini-LP »Habit« and in the meantime the US-American, born in 1999, hasn’t really come close to this goal. But maybe that’s for the better, at least from a musical point of view. Having proven herself to be an accomplished songwriter and arranger with the LP »Lush« three years ago, she still has a lot to say on »Valentine« and does so with even more musical means than before. After the early releases of Snail Mail still moved largely within the framework of the conventions that apply in the field of indie rock – sometimes slacker-like like Pavement, quiet and then loud like the Pixies, scratchy like the music of Courtney Love, whose music she covered on »Habit,« or groovy-but-introspective like The Promise Ring – the title track that opens the album already makes it clear that Jordan’s sound palette has expanded. Synthesizers and even samples dominate the overall picture; the sound, which used to be so reduced, is now blown up to stadium compatibility. This may also be due to the fact that this record was not designed with a hand on the fretboard, but on paper during a stay in rehab. And while this album may sound more polished and detailed in comparison with its predecessors, Jordan hasn’t lost her one great talent: creating intimacy with grand gestures that turn the personal into the universal. And what again does she say in »Ben Franklin?« »Moved on, but nothing feels true.« A few problems remain, so a few more excellent Snail Mail releases are not out of the question.

Please find »Valentine« by Snail Mail in the webshop of HHV Records: Black Vinyl LP | Opaque Gold Vinyl LP
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