Review: ‘On Your Own Love Again,’ Jessica Pratt

February 2, 2015

Some of the best and worst times in our lives are the moments when we feel most real. Those warm, alive feelings may come from falling in love or breathtaking sunsets. The absurd moments may come from getting lost on a snowy mountain trail or parking tickets. There are even terrible times in our lives, like a major break-up or a loved one passing away.

Whatever that feeling may be, and they are different for everyone, Jessica Pratt's sophomore LP "On Your Own Love Again" takes the listener through an ephemeral journey of what it feels like to have loved and to have lost, and everything in between.

Pratt's voice is wholly beautiful, as if she sings toward a flower pot and suddenly it blooms. Her fingers dance on acoustic strings, taking the listener around again to what's right. 

By the time Pratt's debut self-titled album from 2012 was released, some of the material for "On Your Own Love Again" had already been written and recorded. Though "Jessica Pratt" was released three years ago, some of the tracks from that LP were recorded in 2007 when Pratt was 19 years old.  

“It's really old s***,” she told Pitchfork. “Having something that's so old be presented as your contemporary self is really confusing—it's like being haunted by your teen journal.”

Jessica Pratt's debut was recorded over a span of several years and received quiet praise. The album sounds more like a collection of demos recorded somewhere in San Francisco than a “proper” album. But that's what makes Pratt's music so attractive.  

"On Your Own Love Again" continues with the home recording concept, only this time from her home in Los Angeles. The album was recorded with a Tascam multi-track recorder in her apartment. Tape noise permeates the quiet in between tracks, giving the album a very personal, intimate feel.

The record is about change; it's about love and it's about loss. The second song, “Game That I Play,” opens up with a confession: when life has become too real and the immediate outside world is no longer tangible. “People's faces blend together like a watercolor / You can't remember in time,” sings Pratt.

It's generally understood that much great art, however unfortunate, comes from tragedy and things that are outside of the artist's control. Since the release of "Jessica Pratt," the singer-songwriter experienced the things in life we're all destined to deal with, but in the span of a few quick years.

On the fourth track of the album, "Greycedes," a hauntingly familiar psych-folk melody, Pratt willingly lets go of the things that effect her most; not because she wants to, but because she has to.  

Turn the pages of a book, 'cause I can't even look
At the words there, tell me what they say
I can't even try to read the words sometimes.

Often, we associate albums with seasons. "On Your Own Love Again" is unequivocally a winter album heard best curled up next to a lover, or close friend, with a warm cup of green tea near a fireplace as snow peacefully falls outdoors. Close your eyes, and with that, one is easily transported to Pratt's living room. She's sitting in a windowsill singing and playing to some vision that only she really knows.

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