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Is Julia Holter’s Latest The Best Album Of The Year So Far?

"Ekstasis" is the first to rate higher than a 9 on the new PlayGround

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Opinion in favor of Yes por Javier Blánquez

Julia Holter is opening new doors in music. Her being an avant-garde artist – as Joanna Newsom and so many others were in their day – shouldn’t keep anyone from enjoying her magic. She manages to combine the most difficult, cutting-edge currents of music - from jazz to electronic experimentation and classical minimalism - to create a graceful, seductive pop form. Her melodies etch themselves into your memory and her landscapes are dreamy. Her previous work, Tragedy”, was brilliant, but Ekstasis is better. I am certain that we are looking at a new classic. So far no one else has put out an album as ambitious, beautiful and complex as this one.

Opinion in favor of No por Robert Gras

On my scale of values, right now she isn’t number 1. I hope nobody wants to hear a harsh criticism of Ekstasishere: I adore the album. But in her same league, that of making pop an attractive cutting-edge style with frolics into the world of dreams, Visionsby Grimes seems like a more complete album to me. What one can take Julia Holter to task for is that gauzy ambient that she wraps everything in: where some see Laurie Anderson, I can see Enya. At times there is more new age than I would like (an imbalance that Grimes makes up for with moments that are almost techno). It is a high 8, but not a 9.

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