Day 5 Mercury Prize – Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi

10 Aug

It seems that Anna Calvi is the next person in the list who also has her debut album named after herself. Does nobody else get annoyed by that? Regardless, this is quite a decent album.

Anna Calvi was placed on the Sound of 2011 poll by the BBC as well as being the top act on the NME Radar. She’s also known for participating a lot in the fashion industry through charities etc. Most commonly she is compared to PJ Harvey (previous winner and nominee this year) and Siouxsie from Siouxsie and the Banshees as well as Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie and more.

The album opens with Rider to the Sea which sets the backdrop to this album quite well with some pretty complicated guitar arrangements and some very earthy noises in the background. Once you hear No More Words, you understand the comparison to PJ Harvey, which has a fantastic rhythmic progression. Desire feels like she’s getting up on her feet an is a track that sums up her style quite well, dark, mysterious but loud at times and proves that she does know how to play guitar.

Suzanne goes back to the dark vibe but it really works, the flow of the album is startlingly good. First We Kiss makes it feel more natural and less forced, and reminds you of how original this album is. The Devil is much the same and flows  like a river to the sea. The Devil tones it down and showcases the versatility of this girl.

Her most famous song, Blackout, is definitely the most radio friendly, catchy and instantly makes you like the album even if you haven’t been too enamoured by it yet. If you’re not convinced that this girl understands music yet, I’ll be Your Man proves that she knows what she’s doing. Morning Light reminds me of the first comment I made about this artist back in January. When I first listened to Lungs by Florence + The Machine (one of my favourite albums ever) I found that there were a lot of gothic elements. This album almost feels like it’s taken just that gothic part and builded on it, and Anna Calvi has done it brilliantly. Love Won’t Be Leaving goes back to her beautiful rhythmic knowledge and sends the album off well.

It’s a bit dark on the surface and may take you a while to get into but this is a pretty good record. Very unique, very talented and a clear concept for the album that feels natural.

Score: 8/10

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