In a sentence:
‘To Love Is To Live’, the debut solo album from Savages’ lead singer Jehnny Beth, is an uncompromising tackling of the dark sides of life as well as a celebration of its highs.
away from her role as frontwoman of Savages,
Jehnny Beth discovered that recording a solo album was a
necessity for her – she couldn’t escape the feeling of urgency to explore and
create something that would last beyond her time as a musician and even as a
human being. Influenced to record To Love Is To Live when she found out
about David Bowie’s death, an incident which shook her understanding of art,
living and how those two can come together, Beth suddenly realized that art
will always outlive its creator and found this to be the greatest motivator to
write some of the most personal and introspective songs in her career. She was
no longer putting off her intentions to make a solo record and decided that it
would be a testament to her vision of the world.
Her debut solo album,
To Love Is To Live, is provocative and intense, mixing refined and
subtle sounds with harsh, electronic music. Beth is also very articulate and
evocative in her lyrics, which cover an entire palette of thoughts and concepts
– from the profound idea of what it is to be human to delving into the depth of
her own emotions and experiences.
‘Innocence’ is a
truly eclectic song, full of contrasts, equipped in powerful lyrics about
feeling disconnected and lost in a big city, which can turn our hearts cold and
blue. The following song, titled ‘Flower’ is a love song
which Beth, who is bisexual, wrote for a woman while finally being able to
freely express her desires: “She loves me and I love her / I’m not sure how
to please her”. ‘A Place Above’ is a short yet intriguing spoken word piece
performed by ‘Peaky Blinders’ star Cillian Murphy who shares Beth’s thoughts
about “their imagined self-importance”, lies, hatred and violence.
On To Love Is To Live also raises her voice to speak about toxic masculinity on ‘I’m The Man’ in an almost piercing way: “I’m a man, there’s no bitch in town who doesn’t understand how hard my kick can be”. Throughout the entire record Jehnny Beth uses her voice like this, with conviction and with different perspectives in her mind, which make it interesting and surprising every time a new track starts. Beth’s uncompromising way of dealing with often gloomy or delicate topics is something worth admiring, especially when the artist admits that she’s equally guilty of the bad stuff as well as the good. (8/10) (Alicja Rutkowska)
Listen to To Live Is To Love by Jehnny Beth here via Spotify, and tell us what you think below!
Tags: 20L07 Music, album, Jehnny Beth, review, To Love Is To Live
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