If ever there was a musician who excelled at connecting hypnotic, mesmerising sounds with otherworldly, dream-like atmospheres, then it must surely be Justin Broadrick. For the man has been doing this sort of thing ever since 2003, collaborating with the strangest of musical effects and consequently making music loved by those who crave imaginary, fantastical soundscapes which are hard to experience in reality. This isn’t to say that Broadrick is some sort of musical magician who hypnotizes listeners with little effort, but it really does seem as if creating the type of music Jesu largely consists of is as easy as humanly possible.
Whether you believe that the previous paragraph is a bit of an exaggeration or not, it surely has to be believed that Broadrick has made a name for himself in the underground music world. Although his work is never going to be embraced by everyone (Some would argue that Jesu is far too repetitive and ‘boring’ to be called ‘original’), what he has done with Jesu is successful to say the least. The ambitiously titled “Every day I get close to the light from which I came” is jam-packed with ambitious energy and experimentation, but it’s not without it’s few flaws either. For one thing, the first two songs appear to take too much time to actually move from where they started, and strangely enough they aren’t the longest songs on the album either. Granted, this is something that many Jesu songs consist of, but unfortunately for this particular album it isn’t exactly the best start. The other problem is that Broadrick’s vocals feel a little too lacklustre at times, and especially on ‘Comforter’ feel buried amongst the overwhelming usage of different styles which include electronica, dub and the most obvious of them all, post-metal. Somehow his vocal effects never quite soar to the heights they could have, and it may just bring that extra bit of disappointment to even the most devoted of Jesu fans.
That said, ‘Homesick’ and the last three songs are really what define both Broadrick’s and Jesu’s careers. ‘Homesick’ had been released prior to the album’s full stream, and listeners could both grasp just how high Broadrick clean voice could soar and understand how much work the man had done to make Jesu’s latest effort consistent and well performed. It’s filled to the brim with melody and harmony, yet also complemented by sometimes crushing guitar rhythms and otherworldly ambient effects, all making for a sound as unique as that on the album’s longest song, ‘The great leveller’. This fusion of musical elements continues throughout the album to progress to dizzyingly ambitious heights, and it’s not surprising to see songs such as the glorious ‘Everyday’ or softer than usual closer ‘Grey is the colour’ to be charged by frequent bursts of an spiritual energy.
The only major difference from Jesu’s last album, “Ascension”, is also an obvious one. “Every day…” consists of a mere five songs which amount to a total of 43 minutes, which is still almost half the length of the musical act’s debut album. The album’s longest song, ‘The great leveller’ reaches the seventeen minute mark, and is slowly but surely taken on a musical journey to finally arrive at a destination that fully embraces every instrument and style Broadrick had used for the production, resulting in a culmination of musical beauty. The first three songs all become gradually longer and longer, yet strangely enough it is only with ‘Everyday’ where you can first feel Broadrick’s passionate musical energy flowing freely within every minute.
All this said, “Every day…” is simply another Jesu album, but one that makes you realize what the musician has been trying to do with his talented flair for creating atmosphere, imagery and harmonious music. It isn’t quite Jesu’s best work, or indeed one that will change anybody’s perception of Broadrick as a musician, but it definitely does what it originally set out to do, and never strays from the original path.
4, The great leveller
5. Grey is the colour
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