Mastered for iTunes

A dazzlingly complex harp-charged opus

Harpist and singer/songwriter Joanna Newsom’s idiosyncratic take on folk and Americana has always been a powerful—if polarizing—experience. Her fourth album strikes a balance between the ornate orchestral explorations of 2006’s Ys and the more stripped-down confessions of 2010’s Have One on Me. She blends labyrinthine wordplay (“Bleach a collar/Leach a dollar/From our cents/The longer you live, the higher the rent”) and obscure subject matter (the names of Lenape villages on what is now New York City) into songs that are passionate, sincere and surprisingly immediate.

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