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samuel-ward
16th October 2013

Album: Anna Calvi – One Breath

Anna Calvi retains the powerful formula of sex, passion and energy for her second album.
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Released 7th October, 2013

Domino Records

7/10

Anna Calvi has so far managed to aim her seductive rhythm stick quite high, with her debut album being highly-regarded throughout the musical mob. However the challenge facing her now is the infamous second album. Calvi spent a good year writing this record and an intense few weeks recording which seems to have done it some good; the concepts behind the music are delicate but the production remains fiery and doesn’t completely overshadow her biggest trademark – passion. It’s hard for Calvi to be boring since her music is already eclectic and flailing, but One Breath manages to strap on some new contraptions to her sound that present a new pocket of flavours.

‘Piece by Piece’ is a brightly coloured track that feels like a rapids, pulling you either side before gently floating you into pockets of smooth, arpeggiated violins. It’s complicated in the best possible way, never giving you time to make full sense of what’s going on. ‘Love of my Life’ is definitely the black sheep of the album which locks you in a garage with plenty of fuzz pedals and beats you silly like you’re its little noise rock bitch. Nevertheless, the album definitely has a tender touch. ‘The Bridge’, the shortest track (unfortunately), is a pure, swooning choral taste of everything that relates the sweeter sides of Calvi’s two albums.

The album succeeds in its aims to present a more focused and wider view of Anna Calvi’s magical, deeply-voiced kingdom. Less of a statement-maker, more of a “let’s see what these feel like together”. There are still small problems. It can get a bit much at times and might feel like one giant church explosion, but that’s probably because this album is obviously deep. It’s the type of deep where you’ll hear a new interpretation with every few listens – which definitely isn’t a bad thing.

All in all, the experimentation and bizarre hooks give the album a very twisted yet harmonic feel. Maybe it is a bit similar to the first album, but Calvi has shown us that she can still write interesting music with the same passion, energy and sexiness that gives it its bite. Breath it and see.


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