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Emiliana Torrini - Fisherman's Woman

2006-03-29 22:44

Emiliana Torrini should be more widely known, and Fisherman's Woman promises to bring her a step closer to enjoying a much larger audience.

That said, the first listen can be almost disappointing. Fisherman's Woman is understated, with minimal instrumentation and songs that seem like the barely rippled surface of a lake, without much melodic development. This makes it hard to classify her music. You could call it pop, but the acoustic-guitar accompaniment on most of the songs gives it a folk feel. She calls her style "smoky little bar music".

However, as obscure as that may sound, Emiliana Torrini's album is superbly produced and her enchantment lingers.

Her exquisitely clear vocals swirl and swoop delicately in tracks like Nothing brings me down and Serenade. You can hear the same crystal sweetness throughout the album, tempered with searing sadness in Honeymoon Child ("Raised in a wild space / between two hearts") and Thinking out loud ("If the telephone should ring / God knows it could never be him").

So forget listening to Fisherman's Woman only once. You might miss how the enveloping warmth of a song such as Lifesaver is equipped with lyrics that have icy implications: "Lifesaver / I'm cancelling our date / Lifesaver / It's time you had a break". Or the lonely regret simmering in the depths of "Snow": "And I hope again to live this life / Just to see you again before I die".

Yes, the lyrics are sometimes dark, but strangely the net effect of the album is uplifting and quietly optimistic. Torrini's beguiling voice and her songs of consistently high quality make Fisherman's Woman an unsullied gem.

- Rupert Neethling

Torrini creates a sound that's every bit as welcoming as Love in the Time of Science, but only on a much more intimate level.
- Adrien Begrand for Pop Matters, who rated it 8/10

With her Love in the Time of Science, album, Emiliana Torrini showed that she was a pop singer to watch. In the intimate Fisherman's Woman, she proves that her folk-pop effort was worth the wait.
- L. A. Solanis for Kludge Magazine, who rated it 8/10

here's not much variation on show but it's perfect listening material for late at night with your hot malty drink
- Collete Bridge for BBC Nottingham who rated it 3/5

Fine, she's not just a Björk knock-off. Full credit, also, for penning the Kylie Minogue hit "Slow". But Torrini's folk-pop dalliance is as innocuously suited for health spas and pottery classes as any trip-hop relic.
- Mark Hogan for Pitchforkmedia, who rated it 6.3/10

She's of Icelandic and Italian descent, yet she sings in English. Her voice can be heard on the soundtrack of the second Lord of the Rings movie, The Two Towers, as well as on her 1999 debut album, Love in the Time of Science. She wrote Kylie's No. 1 smash hit, "Slow". Yet you've probably never heard of her.


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