Emiliana Torrini is a very versatile lady when it comes to music. She teams up with different writers and composers to create different albums every time she records and rarely stays in the same genre for long. Merging that all together into something cohesive makes her live album collaboration with The Colorist Orchestra all the more intriguing.
Across the eleven tracks, we see reinterpretations from her last three albums. Why she doesn’t touch her earlier work I’m not sure as I could think of several tracks that would shine in this experimental orchestral setting but what’s here is superb. “Caterpillars” is a smooth jazzy reinvention that moves away from its folksy roots whilst “Blood Red” is a smoky and dark pizzicato string and bass guitar driven track that grows into a middle ground between classical and pop. It’s rich and full of quirky embellishments. The lush guitar ballad “Serenade” is now a lounge-like piano and waltzing string-based piece. It really changes the feel from a fluttering track to something more like a jazzy twilight piece. Throughout Torrini’s voice melts you with her unique brand of cute and sass.
Two new tracks “When We Dance” and “Nightfall” sandwich the middle of the album and are more classical with a side helping of 60’s soul thrown in for good measure. They are nice additions to her catalogue but are the quiet tracks on the album. Between them, the electronica “Speed of Dark” playfully mixes keyboard buzzes with strings, wooden percussion and a full on drum kit for a lush take on classical electro-pop. “Jungle Drum” is also a standout with its upbeat fun take on the track. The arrangement is finger clicking and foot stomping joy.
On the more pensive side, the album rounds off with “Today Has Been OK”, “Thinking Out Loud”, “Gun” and “Bleeder” with all bar the final track really going for the atmospheric effects, very tuned percussion and making everything into a huge drama – to great effect. The closing track is the antidote to all that though as the rhythmic percussion turns the track into a merry boat ride that gracefully sails you to the end note.
Whilst not essential, each arrangement is genuinely different and a worthy alternative to the studio original. Emiliana’s pitch-perfect throughout and the whole atmosphere is something I’d like to see expanded in future work of hers.
Recommended Track: Serenade