Jehnny Beth - 'TO LOVE IS TO LIVE'

8/10

Even while her formative group Savages were picking up praise and accolades for their string of incredible studio albums, it was always clear that frontwoman Jehnny Beth was always going to head out on her own journey at some point. Over the years, she has featured and collaborated with numerous artists to deliver a wealth of bold and passionate offerings that have seen her spread her creative wings and take on new and exciting avenues with her music. And now five years after she first made her solo intentions clear, she has now unveiled her long-awaited debut album 'TO LOVE IS TO LIVE', a fresh and dynamic new release.

While her work in Savages will always be seen as the future of the post-punk sound in this country, it is clear from just a few tracks on this new record that her own material is looking to focus on more than just one direction or genre. From the very beginning, 'TO LOVE IS TO LIVE' sets itself up as a multifaceted and explorative collection that sees her separate herself from her older guise and take on a more adventurous feeling throughout. Collaborating with producer Atticus Ross, The xx's Romy Madley Croft and IDLES frontman Joe Talbot, she has delivered one of the most unique and engaging records of the year so far and given a renewed sense of intrigue to her musical persona.

While we all knew that a solo full-length was going to arrive at some point, I don't think anyone was expecting the sheer effortlessness of its composition. Throughout its surprisingly brief 39-minute runtime, 'TO LOVE IS TO LIVE' packs in so much dark and textured sound, it feels like this is only the beginning to Jehnny Beth's solo journey.

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