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Saturday, September 26, 2009


320 KBPS

Most people have heard her unique vocals, singing the hauntingly, sorrowfully creepy "Gollum's Song" during the closing credits of "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers." But very few people know Icelandic singer Emiliana Torrini by name. Which is a shame, because her trip-hop/electronica album, "Love in the Time of Science," is a unforgettable one.
While sitting firmly on a seat of trip-hop and gentle pop, Torrini stretches her wings with a variety of musical types. It's made up of light electronica like the cool, sweet "To Be Free," and murky pop ballads with a slightly morbid edge. "Keep my daughter in a jar/she can't get out/she won't go far," Torrini croons in one song.
She keeps the cool, dark edge with the eerie "Wednesday's Child" and "Telepathy," the offbeat jazz of "Dead Things," and even a few songs that are fun and upbeat pop, singing about friends who hang out and goof around in the summertime. There's even alien avant-pop that defies classification, where Torrini sings creepily about how tuna fish float with "bellies to the moon."
Comparisons to Bjork are inevitable, since they hail from the same country and have similar vocal styles. However, Torrini's music is smoother and less distant, less electronic and more organic. It's also graced with more traditional instrumentation and a warmer sound. Her music is a different shade of electronica-pop.
Her voice has a haunted, slightly eerie quality. Furthermore, it has the flexibility to be warm one moment, chilly and creepy the next, allowing her to gracefully slide from one kind of song to another. Her thick Icelandic accent makes her singing even more enchanting.
The writing of the songs ranges from surreal ("Tuna Fish") to pleasantly ordinary ("Summerbreeze"), using simple and evocative words for jumbled feelings. "But if it's so good being free/Would you mind telling me/Why I don't know what to do with myself?" she asks plaintively at the very start.
Far from a Bjork clone, Emiliana Torrini produces a superb solo album. Combining the best of electronica and pop, "Love in the Time of Science" is startlingly memorable and well worth it.

1. To Be Free
2. Wednesday's Child
3. Baby Blue
4. Dead Things
5. Unemployed in Summertime
6. Easy
7. Fingertips
8. Telepathy
9. Tuna Fish
10. Summerbreeze
11. Sea People
Bonus Tracks
12. To Be Free (Live)
13. Summerbreeze (Live)

1 comment:

F Nemesi said...

Amazing album on heavy rotation in my headphones for the last 10 years... good choice as ever