CD, Explicit Records, 2005
Rising amidst controversy and not-so-subtle advertising, Jessica Vale’s “Sex Album” separates itself from the standard loops and samples which most musicians use to compose an album, and instead relies on a unique source of sound, one maybe a little bit more sensual than the cold, unfeeling industry norms. The source? Recordings of people having sex (including Ms. Vale herself).
While this resource is not entirely obvious to the listener due to digitized manipulations, there is a palpable underlying theme of eroticism. Even though using carnal devices isn’t the newest thing in the audio industry, the album as a whole is a novel approach to making music simply because sex encompasses the entirety of the album, not just one track or one sample.
The songs range from spoken word diary-ish stories to relaxed singing to ambient soundscapes, all with their own unique sense of sound. The lyrics revolve around sexual content and fit very well into the flow of the tracks they’re in. The pacing of the album is also very well done and one will have a hard time saying that there are lapses in musical energy, especially considering the music’s source.
For being an experiment in music (and carnality), the “Sex Album” came out pretty well and is definitely worth picking up, if even just for the novelty. Final score: four out of five habanero peppers.
— Ethan Cohen