Valerie June – “The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers” Review
Valerie June has released her first studio album since 2017 — and it was well worth the wait.
“The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions For Dreamers” was released on March 12. It’s a folk/blues/Americana album with a country music feel. This is June’s third studio album on top of a live album with audio from her performance at the KCRW radio station in Santa Monica.
The 39-year-old singer released her single from the album “Call Me a Fool” in January and with it came a music video. The song illuminates the unique instrumentation and vocals June’s third studio album would possess.
“The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions For Dreamers” represents a person struggling through a relationship that seems as if it’s failing. The singer faces battles within themselves about whether they should let their significant other go even though they feel a deep love for the person.
The story elaborates on the overall theme, which seems to be that in order to understand the truth of whatever it may be you need knowledge of, you have to let it go and stop thinking about it for a while.
The first song on the album, “Stay,” is the singer reflecting on the relationship she is currently in. She points out that she has never regretted being with them, but they are facing obstacles that are making her question whether she should stay with her significant other or not. This song sets the storyline for the rest of the album about this struggling relationship and internal conflict.
The singer moves back and forth through the album as to what she should do about her relationship. At first, she recognizes it’s struggling but then moves on to talk about how strong their love and patience is with each other.
However, her view quickly changes as she struggles with internal conflict in “Stardust Scattering.” In “Fallin,’” the singer says “I am willing to let go [of] what was never mine.” After this, the singer’s internal conflict seems to come to more of a peace as she has more realizations of what she must do for herself rather than only her relationship.
Through this, the truth of all she has been worrying about comes clear to her, and in “Why the Bright Stars Glow” she comes to the conclusion that she will not leave her lover, and they will get through their troubles together because they are a team.
In “Starlight Ethereal Silence,” it sounds as if the singer has made the right choice, as peaceful sounds of nature and calming chimes create a soothing atmosphere. The mood switches from happy to placid as the meditation sounds finish the album.
There is another meditation song, “Stay Meditation,” earlier in the album filled with sounds of chimes and flutes that creates a serene mood as well.
These are the only two songs on the album of their nature (pun intended). The instrumentation is much different throughout the album, which is one of the reasons that “ The Moon and Stars” is so unique.
The instrumentation consists of a mix of booming brass, soothing guitar, riveting percussion and beautiful orchestra. The sounds combine together to create a magnificent tone throughout the album.
From one song to the next, one truly can’t predict what the other song will sound like, however, cohesion still exists due to the repetition of instruments from song to song. On the other hand, there are parts where cohesion seems a bit off. For example, “Smile” has a happy melody and is filled with piano but then moves to “Within You,” which is more of an R&B song.
The instrumentation fits perfectly with June’s lyrics and her distinct voice due to the contrast of uniqueness all of these parts have to offer.
“The Moon and Stars” carries a very real feel, as many of the songs seem as if there is no autotune. The lyrics seem as if they are written straight from June’s heart, and that this was a true struggle at some point in her life. The genuity and emotion creates for a strong story to be told, which helped this album come to life.
Overall, “The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions For Dreamers,” is an album unlike any in today’s day in age. The authentic story told by June in her lyrics combined with the intricate instrumentation is incomparable to other albums.
Reviewer’s Favorite Song: “You and I”
Reviewer’s Least Favorite Song: “Why the Bright Stars Glow”
Kennedy Kollar is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.