Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Julee Cruise "Floating Into The Night" (1989)


A dear friend turned me on to this record, it felt immediately indulgent, familiar like a recollection of memories not my own. I'd never heard of Julee Cruise before, the American singer was hailed with fair regard at the time as being an influential voice, however time has left her attached to this record through the track "Falling", the theme song from "Twin Peaks". It was her first release of four, interestingly each of them released in separate decades, her career now spanning over 25 years.

"Floating Into The Night" is a distinct record of indulgent serene melancholy. Moving at the calmest of paces we drift, comatose and detached, through gentle ethereal lullabies, hypnotized by comforting balances of emotion that sooth and flirt with an eerie undertone, almost haunting in moments, but forever feeling safe. Its a unique sound achieved through the subtle droning and repetition of light, tender instruments and glistening strum guitar chords, brooding together in an atmosphere fit for solitude and introspection. Julee's voice guides a soft and sombre path through the carefully poised ambiance that often unites both a sense of gloom, and bliss in the same space. A unique chemistry.

Perfect for the right mood but hindered by its own genius, the record as a whole is so dreamy and soft its flaws stick out like a sore thumb. Track after track of ethereal ooze leaves the underwhelming tracks spinning in the mark of their predecessors. A few bold moves to break up the spell feel rigid, "I Remember" breaks the rhythm and hits us with darker instrumentation in an obviously nightmarish moment that maybe lacks some subtleties. A saxophone breaks the tone of one of the tracks best songs and "Into The Night" includes a sudden orchestral hit that feels completely unnecessary yet it does direct a sense of reality into the track.

Julee's voice is so subtle, soft and caressing yet powerful and alluring. Her voice further exemplifies the chemistry of the instruments, adding another strange and wonderful balance of eerie and familiarity into the sleepy atmospheres these songs create. Its a remarkable record, but far from perfect. In a moment its indulgent, as a whole it stretches itself with a couple of underwhelming tracks, but either way a very niche record I'm happy to of discovered.

Favorite Tracks: Falling, Rockin' Back Inside My Heart, Into The Night, I Float Alone, The Nightingale
Rating: 6/10

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