Emilliana Torrini has shined through with her new album Me and Armini with change and versatility. Torrini continues to utilize her melancholy and whimsical lyrics; however she has managed to show that her writing and voice can be accompanied by something other than an acoustic guitar.
The song Gun channels an angsty and in somewhat cynical Torrini. She sets Gun in the third person giving an ominous and seductive opening:
Every day I see you looking in
I’ll be the smoothest thing to touch your skin
You’re longing to be loved but you’re alone…
The song maintains its mystery with sultry breathing and an incessant bass line that begs for an alleviating crescendo. The lyrics are far from any song that Torrini has written in the past; clearly she has steered away from writing about charming or sappy, deteriorating relationships and sunny roads only to load Gun with a bullet of harsh reality.
With much steering, Torrini returns back to the same road of her melancholia and whim, with such songs as Fireheads, Birds, Ha Ha and Beggar’s Prayer. She ethereally relates the hurt and sadness of the human condition with her luscious and harmless voice. Unlike Gun, she restricts herself by complimenting her vocals with very minimal instrument play.
Nonetheless, she explores further and does not confine her musical arrangement on track 11, Dead Duck. The song is graced with a repetitive tranquility, which perhaps emerges from guitar looping, sporadic, heavy synthesizer and a couple of mantra-like lyrics:
Stone the dead duck
Dead Duck breaks repetition with crisp and nimble notes from a piano, a nostalgic, acoustic guitar solo (a la Calexico) and then ends with a sudden abrupt and haunting drone of a didgeridoo.
Torrini does not stop there; she incorporates elements of reggae/dub on the self-titled track Me and Armini and lets it surface through Heard it All Before. Both songs emphasize on traditional reggae/dub components such as heavy bass lines, organ key pouncing, synthesizers and one step drumming.
Me and Armini, evoked Emiliana Torrini a spirit of flexibility, limitless creations and all the while allowed her the ability to maintain lyrical dignity. Torrini as an artist has displayed her metamorphosis through this album and grasped the concept of versatility. She has justifiably proven that she is ready to retire the stigma of recording Gollum’s Song and accept that her music can excel outside of indie folk rock and blockbuster soundtracks.