The University of Iowa University of Iowa

Review: John Vanderslice – White Wilderness

By Blake Carlson-Joshua

John Vanderslice’s new album, White Wilderness sets out on a different path than his previous releases. Known for his studio precision, Vanderslice changes things up in this album as he teams up with San Francisco-based conductor/ composer Minna Choi and her Magik Magik Orchestra.

Unlike any of his previous work, Vanderslice was able to complete this album live and in merely three days by enlisting the help of Choi to deliver the heavy musical layers we’ve all come to know and love. The result is a wonderfully vivid set of music that will resonate with any Vanderslice fan.

Although some might be disappointed with the lack in lyrical depth, don’t be fooled. White Wilderness delivers a tremendous musical complexity. His voice, while soft and quiet, gives a sense of strength and it’s beautifully complimented with a vibrant and often dark set of orchestral strings.