Published October 14, 2013
Emilíana Torrini’s new album ‘Tookah’ is brimming with her signature sound: quiet vocals, smooth orchestrations, subtle beats, guitar pickings, and romanticised lyrics. But it also goes in new directions that keep the album feeling current.
Fans of Emilíana will be comforted by the familiar softness of songs like “Caterpillar” and “Autumn Sun.” But that familiarity seems bland when compared to a standout track like “When Fever Breaks.” At seven and a half minutes, it’s an epic half-structured, half–improv song, slowing
building pressure over time. At the brink of emotions, Emilíana intones “desire is rage/ rage is desire” and “I want to kill you with my fire.” The track, although intense, could be pushed even further. Would this fever break in a live performance?
The most successful tracks on ‘Tookah’ are the ones with the catchy hooks and dance beats, such as “Speed of Dark” and “Blood Red.” Emilíana recently experimented with synthesizers, and it shows. “Speed” could be a club hit; a remix would easily entice partygoers to dance. Her simple and unadorned voice is a great contrast to the processed drums and synths, resulting in Kate Bush-meets-Depeche Mode. There is a catchiness recalling Emilíana’s earlier “Jungle Drum” without the twee cuteness.
In “Speed of Dark,” there is a line: “life is just a flicker in the universe.” And that, in its essence, is the album. ‘Tookah’ is a collection of cool and sensual songs made for the moment. Enjoy them now, because in the grand scheme of the universe, these songs are a flickering star.
See also: At The Core OF Emilíana Torrini