01 Mar POP MATTERS: The Order of Time
Valerie June’s major label debut Pushin’ Against a Stone was hailed as a one of the best albums of 2013, and her follow-up The Order of Time carries and expands the weight of that acclaim. The Order of Timecontinues June’s fusion of a diverse set of influences into a modern eclectic style. The title defines the album’s driving force as time and the joys, heartbreaks, and pain one naturally encounters in life. Lyrics explore those elements, and June’s unique vocals stands as strong as on her debut, but the rhythmic background and integration of a strong series of organ performances creates a sonic quality for time that personifies the album’s theme.
A stronger solo effort than Pushin’ Against a Stone, on this album June confidently expresses herself in a similar fashion, and brings her family in as backing performers to perfectly illustrate the album’s theme and the areas in one’s life impacted by time. Her father, Emerson Hockett, and brothers, Patrick and Jason Hockett, provide vocals on the album, while the songs grow in presence and volume to illuminate the ebbs and flows of life’s intersections with time. Opener “Long Lonely Road” and closing track “Got Soul” subtly document achievements captured in a lifetime, with the latter a growing in intensity hymnal backed first by muted drums and guitar and the latter a loud, raucous, rocker, full of organ, guitar, drums, and horns. Both songs reflect on the “order of time”; only the opener hasn’t experienced what the closer follows. Read more here.