Innocence is Kinky

Album Review of Innocence is Kinky by Jenny Hval.

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Innocence is Kinky

Jenny Hval

Innocence is Kinky by Jenny Hval

Release Date: May 14, 2013
Record label: Rune Grammofon
Genre(s): Pop/Rock

86 Music-Critic Score
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Innocence is Kinky - Excellent, Based on 10 Critics

Sputnikmusic - 94
Based on rating 4.7/5
94

Review Summary: If there's one thing I learned from listening to this album, it's that ironic sexism is still sexism. Innocence is Kinky, Jenny Hval’s second offering for Rune Grammofon, finds the Norwegian artist itching for reinvention once again. She previously displayed similar leanings on 2011’s Viscera, which was a conscious departure from the reluctant pop of To Sing Me Apple Trees and the sibilant, ethereal music of Medea.

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PopMatters - 90
Based on rating 9/10
90

Jenny Hval’s performances begin with abbreviations. On Viscera, her debut solo album of light-obscured folk songs, she began with an abstraction of sound, and then a clear thought that captured an album in its arms: “I arrived in town,” she snarled, slithering around the words’ narrative setting, “with an electric toothbrush pressed against my clitoris. ” It took her over a minute to extract that first line, but if it slipped out like a confession, it doubled as a confrontation, a phrase that intoned a provocative discourse on gender and the body, but first had to see who could make it there.

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Tiny Mix Tapes - 90
Based on rating 4.5/5
90

This album made me think of the old tampon in a teacup trick from Ghost World — remember? What made that so laughable? For one thing, it’s not as shocking as the artist imagined. Enid’s credulous art teacher praises the assemblage as “a shocking image of repressed femininity,” but 100 years after the 1913 Armory Show1, the only shocking thing in art is that we still place so much stock in the same set of strategies to épater le bourgeoisie. So, before you start listening to Innocence Is Kinky, Jenny Hval’s excellent new album, I ask you: Are you easily shocked? Much like the opening line to her excellent Viscera2, the first line of Innocence aims to appall, with Hval whispering devilishly: “That night, I watched people fucking on my computer.

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No Ripcord - 90
Based on rating 9/10
90

“That night, I watch people fucking on my computer”. It is difficult to imagine beginning my review any other way than quoting Innocence is Kinky’s arresting opening line, as there could be no better way to grab your attention. Jenny Hval is never content with a passive, unflinching listener. Her music exists to confront and effortlessly topple preconceptions – both on a musical level and on a broader political scale.

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Beats Per Minute (formerly One Thirty BPM) - 85
Based on rating 85%%
85

Jenny HvalInnocence is Kinky[Rune Grammofon; 2013]By Chase McMullen; May 17, 2013Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGTweet“That night, I watched people fucking on my computer.” When these are the opening lines to your sophomore LP, you’re setting quite the standard for yourself. Concerned, however, is as for as possible from how Jenny Hval sounds beginning Innocence is Kinky. Throughout modern popular music, more artists than one can fathom have structured song craft around that most blatant human desire: sex.

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Drowned In Sound - 80
Based on rating 8/10
80

At times when pop music's projection of the sexualised body is painstakingly scrutinised to measure the state of the music industry, explorations of those same matters coming from alternative scenes are too often discarded as intellectual, snobbish musings. Merging trash references (Paris Hilton's sex tape, for starters) with literature, history and a taste for sonic experimentation indebted to her own work with sound installations, Norwegian Jenny Hval crafts a fascinating collection of tales that adds to the discussion on sex and music. In Innocence is Kinky bodies are not only presented, but endlessly re-presented and re-contextualised to kidnap your attention and tease your senses, her goal being to defer any easy interpretation.

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Exclaim - 80
Based on rating 8/10
80

Rightly glorified for the likes of ABBA, Björk and Sigur Rós, Scandinavia is generally viewed as a locale for considered, epic music; its beauty unrivalled in territories with inferior fjord-, mountain- and glacier-per-capita figures. It would be a shame, however, if that were always the case. Much like fellow Norwegians Sacred Harp (check out their modern-psych masterpiece, Window's a Fall), Jenny Hval plots a crude new point on the map of musical extremities.

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Pitchfork - 78
Based on rating 7.8/10
78

On “Mephisto in the Water”, a standout off her second solo album for Rune Grammofon, the Norwegian singer/songwriter/novelist/critic/academic/provocateur Jenny Hval bends her voice into unusual and unexpected shapes. Over a disquieting Möbius strip keyboard line, she performs a wordless fanfare, sing-chants the verses, and splits into a choir of singers on the vocal hook. “Hey, what do you hear?” she asks coyly.

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The Quietus
Their review was very positive

Can innocence be kinky? It's certainly true that these categories are generally presented as disjoint and incompatible, the former prized whilst the latter is denigrated or, at least, suppressed, hidden away. Yet, the relationship between the two is, of course, infinitely more complex than a simple binary opposition. At one point during the sound and light installation that formed an early incarnation of Jenny Hval's Innocence Is Kinky project, the Norwegian artist's film-based study of Joan of Arc was interrupted by a close-up of pornstar Sasha Grey's face with the accompanying text: "There's a big market for the 'young girl' type fetish.

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cokemachineglow
Their review was positive

Come December, the Knife’s Shaking the Habitual and Jenny Hval’s Innocence is Kinky will find themselves on most year-end lists—the former somewhere near the top, the latter just kind of in there somewhere. Their placement on these lists will fill a particular need for those who pay attention ….

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