Juliette Lewis – Terra Incognita

The End Records

This year brought with it a lot of good records and a lot of bad records but none as confounding as Terra Incognita by Juliette Lewis. Gone is her backing band The Licks (and their pseudo new-wave approach) and in its place is a woman defining herself as a solo artist. From whispered indie melodies to faux folk to brash rockers to traditional blues numbers to sprawling acid trips Lewis tries to do it all. While “Junkyard Heart” is one of the year’s best songs many of the other tracks would be dire overblown misses if not for the production of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez. Fans of the often-oblique Mars Volta will recognize his influence which turns some of these questionable numbers into intriguing curiosities. Though the first spin turned me right off Terra Incognita has kept me coming back. It’s not an amazing record but it is interesting which is more than can be said of most of this year’s releases.