Julien Baker makes some of the saddest music out there, and yet there is something so magical and cathartic about it. (No wonder she’s close friends with Phoebe Bridgers.) Little Oblivions is unique because it is Baker’s most sonically ambitious album yet, transforming her once minimalistic sound into crescendos of strings, synths, drums, and bass. Still, the album shares the same sense of emotionally effusive lyrical depth that made her breakout album, Turn Out the Lights, such a marvelous work. And the best is yet to come. She is only 25 years old. Her songwriting abilities are off the charts. And she is extremely intelligent. If you listen to her interviews, you’ll see how she can effortlessly discuss anything from metaphysical poetry to anarcho-syndicalism. More importantly, she has helped many people get through some of the same challenges she’s faced. She has grappled with mental health, abuse, addiction, being a gay Christian socialist, etc. She is a unique human who poured her soul into this. The combination of her raw vocals, her vulnerable lyrics, and her neat sound is lethal. My favorite song is “Hardline,” but it’s a seamless LP from start to end. Just don’t listen to Little Oblivions when you feel like being happy and not in a state of existential despair.

Rating: 8/10

P.S. A Major Announcement:

As you may have noticed, my last post was a little different than my previous posts. I’m excited to announce my Premium Subscriber feature, which costs only $1 per month! You’ll receive bonus reviews every week or, when I’m busy, every other week. But that’s not all. You will get additional benefits, like my predictions for major award ceremonies and an annual recap of the top 10 films, albums, and shows of the year—as well as honorable mentions, disappointments, etc. After you pay, you’ll get an email with the password for all premium content! The password will be periodically changed and emailed to subscribers. So, sign up below!