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Me and Armini - EP

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Album Review

Emiliana Torrini revisits her relationship with producer Dan Carney on Me and Armini, which mixes fingerplucked folk with touches of jazz, dancehall, electronica, and pop. Splitting the difference between the intimate acoustics of 2005's Fisherman's Woman and the trip-hop experiments of Love in the Time of Science, Me and Armini finds room for Torrini to flex all of her musical muscles. She's a sultry mistress during "Gun," where she peppers the verses with blasts of hot breath cloaked in echo. It's a surprisingly sexy performance — almost feline, not unlike something by the Kills — with a muted guitar riff that threatens to explode but stubbornly keeps its composure. Elsewhere, Torrini tones down the heat in favor of winsome pop, mimicking a percussive instrument on "Jungle Drum" and filling "Big Jumps" with strings of endearing doop-de-doop vocals. Several songs also cement her musical connection to Björk — an easy link to make, perhaps, given the women's shared Icelandic heritage, but a factual one nevertheless — and tunes like "Birds" and "Heard It All Before" show that both singers employ similar vocal ticks. Elsewhere, Torrini's material evokes the jazzy cadence of Inara George or even the reggae-tinged swagger of Lily Allen, particularly on the album's breezy title track. Yet comparisons to other artists don't quite do Emiliana Torrini justice, as she's carved out her own sonic space over the course of several albums. With its wide array of genres — all executed with earnestness and confidence — Me and Armini emerges as an album suitable for bookworms and beach bunnies, homebodies and world travelers, dancers and wallflowers. Highly recommended.

Biography

Born: 16 May 1977 in Reykjavik, Iceland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

An Icelandic singer/songwriter whose music embraces elements of folk, electronica, pop/rock, and trip-hop, Emiliana Torrini has earned favorable comparisons to such vocally gifted artists as Beth Hirsch, Kirsty Hawkshaw, and Björk. Torrini was raised in Kópavogur, where she worked at her father's Italian restaurant and attended opera school as a teenager. After releasing three albums in her native Iceland (Spoon, Crouçie D'où Là, and Merman), she joined forces with Tears for Fears' Roland Orzabal...
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