From the pounding riffology of “Dark Days” and “On & On”, to the pastoral swamp noise of “I Thought It Was The Moon” & the title track, to the sublime soul of Joe Tex’s “The Love You Save” and her own “Waiting For the Sun” to the country boogie travelogue, “Route 30” to the soaring tenderness of “All The Love” & “First Sign Of Spring”, the Crazy Horse swagger of "Saint Dymphna" and the barrelhouse stomp of "Palm Wine Drunkard,' WINE DARK SEA is JOLIE HOLLAND at her confident, inimitable best.
Here are just some of the reviews so far….
AQUARIUM DRUNKARD "noir, lived in, caustic and not entirely of this time.”
THE EVENING STANDARD "A great treat for fans of the unexpected.” ****
ICON MAGAZINE "timeless and classic but totally her own. It's a beautiful mess, much like Life Itself. Holland is in the same league as Waits, Rickie Lee Jones, Randy Newman, and Kevin Coyne, and almost beyond category."
THE INDEPENDENT "Holland’s sultry, raunchy sensibility borrows from the cream of 20th-century American pop”
MAGNET "This album is magnificent."
NO DEPRESSION "Wine Dark Sea may very well be Jolie's best album to date."
NPR ALL SONGS CONSIDERED "on this new record, JOLIE HOLLAND takes her sound and turns it upside down…all I can say is strap yourself in. It’s nice to see her go big.” - Robin Hilton
NPR FIRST LISTEN "Holland is that rare performer whose reach extends in many directions and dimensions without sacrificing her distinct core identity. Across eras and genres, tempos and tendencies, she sounds exactly like Jolie Holland and no one else."
PHILTHYMAG.COM "Jolie Holland recently side stepped slightly from the Americana she’s best known for. Jolie Holland’s latest, at times, puts a rambunctious, aggressively punk spin on country and the blues, and at others, a delectably primal and raw spin on soul. But it can also be quite lovely in a very lo-fi way. I would venture to say her currently closest musical peers would be Heartless Bastards, however Holland would seem to have more credibility as both an intellectual and a badass."
THEIRBATEDBREATH.WORDPRESS.COM "Wine Dark Sea” is a record as gorgeously complex as the singer that framed its poetic contours in the colors of rubied wine, obsidian voodoo myths, white-lightning flashes and celestial-blue dreaming. What makes this record one of her best (if not the best she’s ever made), is the paradoxical sense that it’s held together by competing traits: disintegrating skronk and bluesy air-raid siren guitars are the clank and roar of infernal clamor that fuses with stories of warm romance and elegant tales of love lost, love gone wrong, or love desired."
THEMUSIC.COM.AU "Jolie Holland has always operated outside the conventional constraints of folk, jazz and country music; she’s dabbled in and blended those styles and more. But onWine Dark Sea she throws them all in the air, managing to juggle and reconnect them (and others) in thrillingly madcap, visceral, primal and intellectual combinations. Instruments rattle, grate and vibrate around her still bluesy, dive-bar-via-jazz-club voice, certainly placing her as something of a Tom Waits-esque musical alchemist. Out On The Wine Dark Sea and Saint Dymphna are particular highlights of an incredibly accomplished record, easily her finest yet."
UNCUT "A complete rethink has resulted in the most uninhibited and visceral album of her career, on which she carves out a unique position somewhere between Lucinda Williams’ South Gothic (Route 30), Ricki Lee Jones’ jazzy bohemianism “(Out On The Wine Dark Sea”) and the feral blues of Polly Harvey (“Dark Days”). Electric guitars squall to make your speakers shake (“On and On”) and the earthy rhythms of “Waiting For The Sun.” Throw with raw, gospel intensity. Magnificent."