Albums to watch

Versions

Zola Jesus & JG Thirlwell

Versions

Neo-classical reworkings of previous releases from the Russian American singer Nika Roza Danilova in a collaboration with producer Thirlwell

ADM rating[?]

7.0

Label
Sacred Bones
UK Release date
19/08/2013
US Release date
20/08/2013
  1. 9.0 |   The Quietus

    More than a mere souvenir or stopgap, Versions is a sumptuous release that affirms both the increasingly unique and essential nature of Zola Jesus' music and the enduring genius of JG Thirlwell
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  2. 8.9 |   Paste Magazine

    Perhaps this is a precursor to a more direct approach to the production of future Zola Jesus recordings. If not, Versions will always be there to brush the haze aside for a little while
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  3. 8.0 |   The Irish Times

    Danilova’s voice can capture the world’s emotions in one note and, under the helm of the dark lord of the strings, big songs such as Night and Hikikomori are now raw and intensified
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  4. 8.0 |   All Music

    While Versions may be too tasteful-seeming for die-hard fans of early Zola Jesus, the album's undeniable beauty reveals another accomplished facet to Danilova's music
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  5. 8.0 |   music OMH

    These versions serve to highlight what we already knew, that Zola Jesus is a phenomenal talent
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  6. 8.0 |   Spin

    Alternate-universe intimacy with songs we've already come to love makes Versions a wild success
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  7. 7.6 |   Pitchfork

    The most compelling thing about Versions has more to do with Danilova herself than Thirlwell or the Mivos Quartet
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  8. 7.5 |   Bowlegs

    Thirlwell has drawn out a purity and refinement in Danilova’s creations and, in doing so, we are more connected as a result
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  9. 7.5 |   A.V. Club

    Even if a few of these songs falter in a side-by-side comparison with the originals, the string-enhanced versions of these songs make for a compelling listen
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  10. 7.5 |   Under The Radar

    With Thirlwell's strings and skittish raindrop percussion, that voice is allowed freedom to explore the quieter moments and is afforded the center stage it's always deserved
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  11. 7.0 |   PopMatters

    Continues to mark out Danilova as one of the most intriguing artists to emerge in recent years
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  12. 7.0 |   Clash

    Refined, and dangerously decadent
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  13. 7.0 |   DIY

    The common thread throughout, perhaps unsurprisingly, is Danilova's voice
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  14. 7.0 |   Consequence Of Sound

    Zola Jesus always sang like she was in danger of drowning. On Versions, she learns how to swim
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  15. 7.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    A successful experiment, a great record in its own right, and (hopefully) a great primer for a subtly evolved next effort
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  16. 7.0 |   The 405

    This is unlikely to woo anyone not already familiar with Zola Jesus, but for those already besotted it will be just the stopgap they needed whilst waiting for the next tsunami of original material
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  17. 7.0 |   NME

    It all serves to make her music more scary and imposing than it actually is
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  18. 6.9 |   Beats Per Minute

    Versions is probably best for those who were there at the Guggenheim concert. But there are certainly moments on the album that we should be glad to have
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  19. 6.0 |   The Skinny

    For fans, it will prove an emotive experience; the uninitiated may want to explore the original renditions before approaching Versions
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  20. 6.0 |   Fact

    Slap a couple of danceable beats on these songs and you’ve got the greatest Belinda Carlisle record you never heard
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  21. 6.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    Versions isn't a triumph but it does highlight just what a striking talent Danilova is
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  22. 6.0 |   Uncut

    Fans at least will love these vivid, live-feeling renditions. Print edition only

  23. 3.0 |   Slant Magazine

    With Versions, Jesus achieves something her previous albums hadn't: She's created art so unobjectionable that it attains a kind of beige obscenit
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