Emiliana Torrini
Me and Armini


4.0
excellent

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
September 10th, 2008 | 30 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Emiliana fuses a multitude of new influences into her folk melodies and comes away with a winner.

I can’t begin to really explain my love of female singer/songwriters. There is just something soothing about female vocals when they’re done right. In fact, there are certain genres that I can only listen to when there’s a female vocalist; that list includes most pop, country, trip hop and mellow acoustic rock. One of those female vocalists that I’ve been following is Emiliana Torrini. I first got into her shortly after the release of her fourth album, Love in the Time of Science which was a great trip hop album in large part due to her voice, but also due to the quality music. It was unfortunate that her following album, Fisherman’s Woman, turned out to be a stripped down folk-inspired acoustic album that lacked the variation of its predecessor and was fairly redundant. I don’t know if maybe she felt the same way or if someone else let her know, but she has taken the good parts of her last album and injected a variety of other influences making for the strongest album of her last three releases.

While she doesn’t return to her trip hop past, she does introduce a variety of other influences into her folk-inspired sound. There’s the blues-based riff of the opening track, the upbeat reggae twist of the title track as well a healthy dose of 60s and 70s inspired rock throughout. I was surprised the first time I heard “Jungle Drum” which takes more than a small influence from Johnny Cash and benefits from it. It is very upbeat with a dirty guitar sound and a catchy chorus. Another stand out track that takes a cue from classic rock is “Gun” which has a groovy 60s psychedelic guitar sound, and reminds me of Jefferson Airplane because it has the same kind of warped, dark vibe as “White Rabbit”. Despite these new influences, Emiliana still has folk music in her heart and it is able to shine through.

“Birds” is the first song to really return to the folk influence as it features Emiliana gently playing her acoustic guitar and softly singing while the sound of birds can barely be heard in the background. The difference between these new folk-inspired songs and ones from her past is that these new ones are dynamic. “Birds” gradually builds into a psychedelic Pink Floyd-inspired section complete with electric guitar drenched in echo-effect and keyboards, but it settles down again in time to close with Emiliana’s crooning and her acoustic guitar. There is also the two-minute “Hold Heart” that is strictly folk-based but it is still a strong track due to it being the only one of its kind on the album as opposed to one of many on the last album. It is also a beautiful song that features just Emiliana and her acoustic guitar while she makes excellent use of her vocal range to carry it to the end.

In short, Emiliana has expanded her sound and has pulled it off wonderfully. Her guitar playing is excellent whether she is playing a dirty 60s rock-inspired piece or a gentle folk melody. Those riffs and other musical ideas are only made stronger by the unassailable presence of Emiliana and her voice. She can go from quiet singing to energetic sections where she traverses the spectrum of her range with ease as well as easily conveying a variety of emotions including passive-aggressive anger on “Ha Ha” to heartbreaking vulnerability on “Bleeder”. It seems that she took just about every influence she had and mixed them all together and still managed to maintain a cohesive and enjoyable album.

It bears repeating that through out this album’s duration there are many musical influences that add plenty of variation to her folk-inspired nucleus. This is important because these influences combined with a multitude of sounds and the capable vocals of Emiliana have helped her to create the strongest and catchiest album of her last three releases. For those that were a little disappointed with her last album, this one should bring you back around despite the continued lack of trip hop influences. It is catchy, varied, and has the spirit and feel of that great album combined with the folk-influence of the previous one along with so many new ideas.



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user ratings (36)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
September 10th 2008


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks to jrowa001 for making a list and letting me know she had a new album coming out.

Digging: Mors Principium Est - Dawn Of The 5th Era

IAmInsect
September 10th 2008


3799 Comments


typo in the summary but stellar review ntl. this sounds cool.

Willie
Moderator
September 10th 2008


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks for that. Fixed it.

BallsToTheWall
September 10th 2008


44805 Comments


123. good review. Missed this but sounds like something i'd like so i'll myspace later today.

Willie
Moderator
September 10th 2008


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks. My last five reviews have been on bands that are either obscure or not the "Sputnik taste" (or both) so they've been missed in general. Which is fine with me, I expect it when I write them

You'd probably also like her "Love in the Time of Science" album if you've taken a liking to Hooverphonic and Portishead.This Message Edited On 09.10.08

jrowa001
September 10th 2008


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is a great review for one of the top nonmetal albums of the year. this is her second best behind Love In the Time of Science and right above Fisherman's Wife. she really has gotten better at her folk songs. whatever you do dont get her album Merman, its kinds sucks. your welcome about my list, glad i could inform you

Willie
Moderator
September 10th 2008


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is her second best behind Love In the Time of Science
Really? I'm still conflicted. The styles are different so I find myself only wanting to hear one or the other depending on my mood.

jrowa001
September 10th 2008


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah they are different in a sense but its still her, and i think LitToS is her best. both albums are chill though. i have them both at a 4/4 even though i slightly like one more than the other

Willie
Moderator
September 10th 2008


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, I have them both rated at 4 too. Maybe I've just had LitToS for so long that I'm just enjoying her new one more right now.

jrowa001
September 10th 2008


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

probably, i listened to this one like 5 times before i went back to LitToS. then after listening to it, it regained its spot. if you like her trip-hop stuff youd like the artists, Elsiane, Elika, and Esthero. odd they all start with an E lol

Willie
Moderator
September 10th 2008


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I haven't heard them but I've added them to my list of things to check out. There's a band called Mandalay that you might like as well. I found them through Last.fm

AlexTM510
September 12th 2008


1408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review =).


I love her oh so much =P

Willie
Moderator
September 12th 2008


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks. She doesn't have many supporters on this site... which really isn't a surprise.

AlexTM510
September 12th 2008


1408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol unfortunately yea. Jungle Drum is incredible fun in my book.

AlexTM510
September 12th 2008


1408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

And honestly all three albums are equally stellar in my book.

AtavanHalen
September 12th 2008


17927 Comments


She's back!

Willie
Moderator
September 13th 2008


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Jungle Drum is incredible fun in my book.
It is, and it was totally unexpected from her.

Willie
Moderator
September 17th 2008


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

if you like her trip-hop stuff youd like the artists, Elsiane, Elika, and Esthero. odd they all start with an E lol
I'm listening to Esthero and enjoying it, but there's a similar band I enjoy more. Have you ever heard Bran Van 3000? If not check out their album "Glee". It's like this but much more varied and eccentric.

jrowa001
September 17th 2008


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

no i havent heard of them. ill def look for it, thanks. glad you like Esthero. that means youll probably like Elsiane then too.

jeremologyy
November 10th 2008


275 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Hold Heart" is my favorite song. It's only 2 minutes long, but that's all she needs. It has a catchy guitar line and a perfect melody. Her voice sounds so pure here, unlike it does elsewhere.

This is a great album, with only one bad track ("Big Jumps").



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