Album of the Week: Julee Cruise’s The Voice of Love (1993)

Perhaps my favorite quality in music is a dreamy atmosphere. From rap (Blowout Comb) to jazz (In a Silent Way) to rock (any Cocteau Twins LP), many of my favorite albums have more in common with the lush trappings of ambient and new age music than is standard within their respective genres. And when it comes down to it, it doesn’t get much more dreamy than Julee Cruise.

Immortalized by her appearances in Twin Peaks, Julee Cruise has been making music since the 80s and her collaborations with David Lynch are well known. Since I first watched Blue Velvet in high school I was enthralled by her song “Mysteries of Love”, and I quickly bought her debut album Floating Into the Night on CD. Floating, by far her most well known project, features such legendary tracks as “Falling” (the Twin Peaks theme), “The World Spins” and the aforementioned “Mysteries”. But it wasn’t until years later that I discovered The Voice of Love, her underrated follow-up album that almost matches the consistency of the debut.

Some reggae in my Julee Cruise? Yes please! The Voice of Love opens with “This Is Our Night”, which bobs along like a Sly & Robbie remake of “Falling”. While “Friends For Life” also executes something of a reggae rhythm, the rest of the album is less surprising in its styles: “Movin’ in on You” recalls the doo-wop balladry of “Rockin’ Back Inside My Heart”, “Up in Flames” sounds like an ominous vocal take over the Bookhouse Boys theme (complete with those jazzy drum brushes), and the goofy “Kool Kat Walk” is almost a reprise of “Audrey’s Dance”.

Donna sings along to Cruise’s “Rockin’ Back Inside My Heart”, via Welcome to Twin Peaks

According to a 2018 interview with Pitchfork, Julee Cruise is not a fan of The Voice of Love. “It sounds like soup and the songs are bad”, she said. “They put on too much fucking reverb.” Surely the album isn’t for everyone, especially if it’s not for Cruise herself. It’s largely a retread of the first album, and Lynch’s lyrics are no deeper than the ones on …Baby One More Time. But if you, like me, love those earlier songs and truly believe that Twin Peaks is some life-changing shit, The Voice of Love is absolutely worth checking out.

And, if you have Spotify, you can stream it here.

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