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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A joy to hear, 10 Oct 2013
This review is from: VERSIONS (Audio CD)
If, like me, you have all of the previous albums then you may initially be disappointed to see that this is not new material but listen and hear a beautiful reinterpretation of great songs.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best one so far, 9 May 2014
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This review is from: VERSIONS (Audio CD)
I think this is thebest work so far by Zola Jesus,,, and I've already loved the twoprevious albums,but this one...hum!!
Definitely a must have!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Reimagining Zola Jesus' earlier work, 18 Mar 2014
By 
Paul Allaer (Cincinnati) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: VERSIONS (Audio CD)
Zola Jesus is the stage name of Nika Roza Danilova, who has released in quick succession a number of albums, the most recent before this one being 2011's "Conatus". Now comes this reimagination of her earlier work

"Versions" (10 tracks; 41 min. ) was recorded at the tail end of her tour in support of "Conatus". The Guggenheim Museum in New York approached her to perform, and Danilova chose to radically reinvent the arrangements of her catalog by bringing in the Mivos Quartet. The result is this album, which stands in contrast to her earlier albums, not only because the outright classical nature of the album, but also as it spotlights Danilova's voice and lyrics more than ever before, check out the opener "Avalanche (Slow)", one of six tracks on here which first appeared on "Conatus". It is followed by "Fall Back", a brand new song, in which she croons "In the dark/I feel you around me/In this clouded mess/You surround me", wow. The only track that ventures out from the strict "chamber music" format is the album's closer "Vessel", which rocks more or less. In all this is quite the album. To be clear: if you don't like classical (chamber) music, do yourself a favor and stay away from this. I found this album to be quite the eye-opener, and heard Zola Jesus in a way I had never heard her before.

I had the good fortune of seeing Zola Jesus in concert here in Cincinnati in early 2012 when she was touring in support of "Conatus", and what an incredible show that was. Backed by a keyboard player, an electronic viola player and a percussionist, Danilova put on a fabulous show, being a woman possessed it seemed. Great, great show. Meanwhile, for something very different yet equally intriguing, I readily recommend "Versions" to you.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Double Vision Delight, 24 Aug 2013
By 
The Wolf (uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: VERSIONS (Audio CD)
Just when I thought I knew and loved everything I needed to know
about Zola Jesus, High Priestess Of Shadows, along comes this
collaboration with J G Thirwell and The Mivos Quartet. 'Versions'
presents us with some revealing and exciting new transcriptions
of Nika Roza Danilova's past sonic inventions and what it shows us
beyond all else is what a remarkably good voice she has when stripped
of the stark electronic bombast and vocal distortions to which we have
become accustomed in the dark territories which are her usual domain.

Jump straight to the new take on 'Night' from the 2010 album 'Stridulum II'
for an uplifting glimpse of just how soulful Ms Danilova can be when she
is released from the constraints of her basic-black Gothic script. So
too with the glorious re-imagining of 'Avalanche' from 2011's 'Conatus'!
Out with the quasi-Siouxsie Sioux antics - in with a heartfelt performance of
great warmth and clarity framed by a wonderfully luminous string arrangement.

Elsewhere, 'Hikikomori' springs light-footed and fancy free into bright new
life and the simply beautiful final track 'Collapse' proves beyond doubt that
Ms Danilova is both a writer and singer of idiosyncratically remarkable caliber.

If you have the earlier recordings don't let that stop you hearing these too.

Highly Recommended.
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VERSIONS
VERSIONS by Zola Jesus (W/ Jg Thirlwell & Mivos Quartet) (Audio CD - 2014)
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