Conatus

October 4, 2011 | Format: MP3

$9.49
Also available in CD Format
Song Title
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Popularity  
30
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1:03
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3:20
30
3
4:42
30
4
3:47
30
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4:14
30
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3:44
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3:27
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4:27
30
9
2:54
30
10
4:21
30
11
4:07

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Product Details

  • Label: Sacred Bones Records
  • Copyright: 2011 Sacred Bones Records
  • Total Length: 40:06
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B005NEHR7W
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,160 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By K. D. Kelly on October 4, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Opera and philosophy are not generally considered building blocks for a pop album. But Zola Jesus is no ordinary pop singer.

For one thing, the artist also known as Nika Roza Danilova suffered such intense stage fright as a child dreaming of becoming an opera singer, she never actually made it to an audition. For another, she harbors open disdain for what she refers to as the corn-fed wasteland of pop culture, so she's probably not following Lady Gaga on Twitter.

Zola eventually overcame her nerves and adapted her odd, nasally warble to music that is part goth/industrial rock, part soulful aria. "Conatus," named after a philosophy term that denotes the innate inclination of creatures and ideas to survive and thrive, celebrates this determination. Zola is a strong-willed, fierce-minded artist. This is the third full-length release she has written and recorded entirely on her own, and she's just 22.

"Conatus" finds Zola attempting to distance herself from the "goth" label with which she's been branded for her ethereal atmospherics and haunting, Nico-ish voice. She added a string section to the mix on "Conatus," whose strains occasionally lift the dark mood and give the proceedings more of a synthpop feel. But when Zola chirps, "All I know is I'm home / sicker in the daytime / sicker on the inside" on the exhausted, yet blissful "Hikikomori," a violin weeping toward the end, it's definitely coming from the same dark place as her previous output.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By D on October 13, 2011
Format: Audio CD
I'm probably not one of Nika Roza Danilova's biggest fans, but there is something about her music that keeps me coming back for more. She's occasionally brilliant ("Night", "Poor Animal"), but some of her stuff seems more like meandering experimentation than fully formed songs. While there's nothing on Conatus as excellent as those favorite tracks, it's her first release that works for me as a coherent whole. My favorites are "Vessel" and the ballads in the album's second half, but it's all listenable. A couple tracks come close to floating off into the void, but then she reigns it back in. Based on unimpressive live performances I've seen online, and the fact that she wraps her vocals in electronic effects pretty much 100% of the time, I've always assumed she's not really a strong singer. So it's a nice surprise to hear her voice in the forefront - and sounding great - on some of these songs, like "Skin" and "Collapse". I'm very impressed, and I hope she continues making music like this: big but subdued, glacially cool but with emotional weight. Very nice.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David J. Elfering on May 4, 2012
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
As a person who grew up in the heights of the punk music era there are elements of familiarity in this release. It touches on elements of the things many of us found appealing in varied artists like Lori Anderson, Kate Bush, Suzanne Vega, Clash and of course Siouxsie and the Banshees.

So if any part of those types of artists appeals to you then this album is well worth exploring. Personally in a world filled with pop culture masquerading as cutting edge, I found every track appealing, different and well worth the purchase. Zola Jesus pushes the envelope in ways that let you know there's a bright mind working behind the scenes that is dancing to the beat of a different drummer and doing it with a high degree of intensity - and that's great. By walking the tight line between the "norm" and being "out there" I think the result is a work that doesn't mount a war on the norm but at the same time succeeds in not conforming. That's not easy to do but she pulls it off.

Hopefully this development continues and I think even more is possible.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Thomas D. on April 13, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Nika Rosa Danilova, better known by her nom-de-electro-goth Zola Jesus, has been making her own unique brand of classically-influenced industrial pop (yes!) with an overarching dark side since 2006, before she could even legally buy cigarettes. Drawing inspiration for the cold, wide-open soundscapes she's prolifically released on multiple EPs and full-length records since 2009 from the frigid desolation of a snowbound Wisconsin childhood as much as from post-punk and classical opera, Danilova's releases effortlessly evade genre classification. They're songs that evoke frozen, beautiful, empty places, songs of unfamiliar and sort of creepy but totally impossible beauty, songs that amound influences from Swans to Nietzsche - songs that really have no precedent. Now that Danilova's reached the ripe old age of 22, she's started to dig deeper into her poppier influences, and her third full-length release Conatus reads like an alien tribute to classic pop balladry. That is to say, it's awesome.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By trevor bajus on August 13, 2013
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
...but could use the Banshees, really. Great songs, wonderful singing, but the music exists only as a backdrop for the vocals. Her vocals are strong enough to carry the record, but some depth/variety would be nice.
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