The transformative power of music is something that really transcends boundaries, whether human created or naturally made. This means that what Astrid Williamson does on Pulse is something that speaks more generally to humanity. The specific genre and styles broached during this album do not matter as much as eir honest and earnest approach, something that is refined over the course of the album’s 10 tracks. What results with this title then is something that is timeless, ageless, and is substantially greater than the sum of its parts. “Dance” is the first track on Pulse, and it immediately inundates listeners with Williamson’s unique flair.
What I feel to be the strongest part of Pulse would have to be the use of silence; Leo Abrahams’ work here showcases a nice interplay between loud and quiet, soft and torrential, and in doing so Williamson creates a nice interpretation of the human experience. Husk is the perfect track for this; in under four minutes listeners will feel as if they have been on an utterly epic journey through Williamson’ psyche, past and present.
“Pulse” is one of the best albums of 2011, and this is due to the fact that Williamson is able to create such a cohesive effort. The haunting strains of the album’s cuts will stick with listeners long after the CD ceases to spin. This means that anyone lucky enough to listen to Pulse will be a fan of Williamson; check out any of eir 4 preceding solo albums or see whether ey will come around your neck of the woods. Regardless, be prepared to be immutably changed by the full effort that is Pulse.
Top Tracks: Dance, Underwater
Astrid Williamson – Pulse (CD) / 2011 One Little Indian US / 10 Tracks / http://www.astridwilliamson.net /