A couple months ago, I was given the name of Emiliana Torrini as someone whom I should check out. After listening to some sound clips on the web, I decided that it didn't sound urgent enough to go out and spend full price on it. Instead, I figured I'd wait until I saw it for a little cheaper, then pick it up and give it a full listen. After doing just that, I'm glad that I waited. While there are definitely some really nice things to be found on the release, it just leaves something to be desired.
Altough it's been done by probably everyone reviewing this album thusfar, I'm going to go ahead and make the comparison of Torrini to Bjork. They're both from Iceland and Torrini is either consciously or subconsciously (perhaps it's just something in the water there) trying to mimic some of the vocal stylings of that wacky Bjork. Really, it's not the vocals themselves that I have any problems with, it's the lyrics. I'm all for being young and having fun, but most of the lyrics on the album seem like they're trying to say something and instead fall into cliche' traps too often.
For that reason alone, the track "Unemployed In Summertime" is probably one of the best tracks on the disc. Not only is it musically very fun and light (I can't imagine how it didn't turn into a big summer anthem), but the lyrics and the way that Torrini sings them all fits together into a song that makes you want to quit your job and slack it with a lover just so you can sing along with her. Musically, the disc ranges from the above mentioned jaunty track to ones like the somewhat darker beginnings of "Fingertips" or the twinkling and pretty "To Be Free." Even when a track starts out sounding like it may go a bit more of an edgeier direction, things always brighten up at some point and goes into more of a radio friendly mode.
In a lot of ways, this release actually reminds me of Dido's No Angel in a lot of ways. They're both constructed very well musically and mainly stick to the trip-pop formulas, as well as have fairly strong vocals by the respective singers. The main problems with each, though, is that they stick a little bit too much to convention when a bit of experimentation could make the songs more interesting and far too often I find myself wondering how much more simplistic the lyrical content could get. In that respect also, though, if you do like Dido (and crave a slightly more goofy side), I imagine that you'd like this release. Or, if you think that Bjork is just a bit too out there for you, you'd find solace in the more sweet sounds of Torrini. There's definitely promise here, I just hope that she runs with it a bit.