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Emiliana Torrini
Fisherman's Woman
Rough Trade Records

It's been six years in the making, but the sophomore release from Emiliana Torrini has finally arrived! No longer content to hang in the shadow of her Icelandic sisters, Torrini has developed her sound into a distinctive and sultry easily listenable folk music. On her debut record, Love In The Time Of Science, Emiliana evoked a sound that bore a heavy resemblance to the works of Bjork, albeit relying more on organic instrumentation rather than electronics. On this new record, Emiliana has become quite comfortable in her own skin, writing songs that are genuine, intimate, and earthy. Think of Bjork as the older, jaded, somewhat bitter punk rock sister to Torrini's younger, softer, jazz-tinged ballad lover.

The songs on Fisherman's Woman speak softly and cautiously of love and life experiences. The lead single "Sunnyroad" is a brilliant acoustic ballad that floats gently along, weaving a blanket of calm and relaxation around the head. "Snow" is a brief poem sung siren-like by the sweet voiced chanteuse, showing her incredible vocal range and depth of expression. Journeying into the territory of alt-country/Americana on tracks like "Today Has Been Ok" and "Heartstopper", Torrini digs down deep and tugs almost effortlessly at the heartstrings of the listener. Slide guitars and gentle rhythm parts form a perfect compliment to her indescribably beautiful voice. Torrini's songwriting has matured and become first rate, and the moods that are invoked by each of these songs are strong and inescapable.

In a record industry climate that has become somewhat jazz-centric, this record fits nicely into the current model. The difference is that Fisherman's Woman draws from the soul and jazz movements of the last century without emulating them directly. The songs are light and airy, with enough soul to draw any listener in for closer inspection, but not so jazzy as to offend the jazz-hating ear. Remarkably, this record proves Torrini's myriad abilities as a writer and vocalist, but also showcases her diversity. The only thing I can recall being released in the interim time between her first two records was the amazingly dark "Gollum's Song" from The Lord Of The Rings soundtrack. What an amazing track that was, and one that led me to believe when we finally did get a new record it would be very different than Fisherman's Woman. I am impressed, and once more falling in love with the Icelandic voices.

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:
1. Nothing Brings Me Down
2. Sunnyroad
3. Snow
4. Lifesaver
5. Honeymoon Child
6. Today Has Been Ok
7. Nexttime Around
8. Heartstopper
9. At Least It Was
10. Fisherman's Woman
11. Thinking Out Loud
12. Serenade

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