Author Topic: One Breath now the dust has settled  (Read 6241 times)

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MrCricket

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One Breath now the dust has settled
« on: September 17, 2014, 11:02:12 PM »
What do people think now the Album has been out ages? Does it have the longevity of its predecessor? Do you still listen to it? What's your favourite song?

For various reasons I've had a long break from it all, but after a fresh listen Sing To Me is still epic

Elisa

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Re: One Breath now the dust has settled
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2014, 12:25:26 AM »
Good question, Chris.
I remember the first time I listened to "Anna Calvi" I thought, this is a fu*king instant classic. I was happy because I could finally follow an artist so extraordinary since its inception.
Instead, the first time I listened to the whole "One Breath" I was destabilized and a bit confused. Then the record has started to grow inside of me and I fell in love.
Today I think that "Anna Calvi" is a better record, but "One breath" excites me more because I feel it's closer to my life and at the same time I feel I recognize her honesty. And I prefer imperfect things, in general.
Favorite songs: Sing to me and One breath.
"Had I not seen the Sun, I could have borne the shade. But Light a newer Wilderness my Wilderness has made."
                                                 Emily Dickinson

jareed

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Re: One Breath now the dust has settled
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2014, 02:54:03 AM »
I was wondering the same thing the other day I was stuck in traffic, and the question then turned to, if I could only listen to 1 of her 2 albums for the rest of my life I think I might have to pick Anna Calvi over One Breath.

I think something about the songs or production on the first album hooks me a bit more on an emotional level but I think musicality, creativity wise, One Breath is better than Anna Calvi. To answer your questions, I still listen to both albums - I have a playlist of my favourite songs from both and I have it on repeat pretty often.

I guess what I'm saying is, my own personal hell would be making me choose between the 2 albums.

moulinette

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Re: One Breath now the dust has settled
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2014, 05:59:21 AM »
I think I prefer Anna Calvi, because it means so much to me and just felt like a more cohesive album. I still find the track listing of One Breath a bit questionable. But yes, it has stood the test of time for me! I listen to it more than Anna Calvi ever since it came out and I still find that it feels new and exciting every time I hear it.

Cry is my favourite song and then LOML. I think Cry is my favourite Anna song overall actually, even including the ones from the first album.

Petefrombristol

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Re: One Breath now the dust has settled
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2014, 02:19:46 PM »
Hi all. Yes, good question. The first album has a special place in my heart because it was my introduction to the great and glorious Anna, and for a similar reason if I had to choose just one of her songs it would be Desire. But, I think that in many ways One Breath is more accomplished and varied. That said, Carry Me Over is a song that's sunk very deep into my psyche, I love Tristan, and Love of My Life is one of the most exciting songs I know. So, short answer (!): One Breath after countless listening still holds up very well, and I probably listen to it more often than the first album....

Michael G

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Re: One Breath now the dust has settled
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2014, 03:38:39 PM »
Hi All. I think I still prefer the first album. Individually the songs have more impact, and still form the back bone of Anna,s live set. One Breath is more sophisticated and atmospheric , but does not seem quite  as powerful a statement. I think also it does not reflect what an incredible guitarist Anna is.  Overall though I find I listen more to recordings of her concerts and solo shows more than her studio work, to me these are what Anna' s music  is all about. I think my favorite individual track (s)  are her live versions of Love wont be leaving with all its variations in improvisation. It would be intresting if she released a re-recorded extended version of this, possibly on 12 inch vinyl. Although live , Carry me over, can often be the highlight of her set if Anna is sufficiently fired up.

wild_corgi

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Re: One Breath now the dust has settled
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2014, 06:14:46 PM »
That's a good question, Chris, as in "one that's difficult to answer" ...

The songs that really grabbed me when I first heard One Breath were Suddenly, Eliza and Tristan - and I still like them. This could be the influence of the videos (yes, even with Anna's idiosyncratic non-acting). As I've continued to listen to it, my favourites so far have turned out to be Piece by Piece, Love of My Life, Cry, Carry Me Over - and A Kiss To Your Twin. (Does A Kiss To Your Twin count as part of One Breath? I can maybe see why it's not on the record, but it feels more a part of it than it does a saved-up B side for a single. At least it does to me)

As Michael says, this could be because Anna's set includes those songs and they've become so integral to the experience - and for me that includes the improvisations in the songs from the second record as much as Love Won't Be Leaving.  And like Michael, I do listen/watch her live performances a lot. 

But it's also because those songs are the ones where Anna seems to me to be pushing herself to take more chances musically and try something new without pastiching anything or anybody. I really love the creativity that's in this record. I mean, I like Webern, but it honestly hadn't occurred to me until I read one of Anna's interviews that the fragmentary technique in that song came from him, or that it was a deliberate commentary on the way memory works.

(In all fairness, of course this could just mean I am stupid and/or have cloth ears.)

That leaves other songs on the record where I'm still finding new things - Bleed into me, the Bridge - and one that so far I've not got into, which is Sing to Me. And that's odd, cos I really liked the video and the lyrics but right now it's not doing anything for me, I can't work out why, I will just have to wait for it to sneak up on me.

That brings me on to the lyrics, and I do think they're better on this record as a whole than on the first one.  Compared to The First Record, I suppose I miss her incredible guitar work, a little, but there are other things in the writing and singing that are easily as good for me.

Elisa

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Re: One Breath now the dust has settled
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2014, 06:36:25 PM »
Yes, I think that the lyrics of "One Breath" are better. Especially "Love of my life", that are, in my opinion, her best verses ever. Maybe I miss, in her second record, the Jeff Buckley ispiration of a song like "The Devil".
"Had I not seen the Sun, I could have borne the shade. But Light a newer Wilderness my Wilderness has made."
                                                 Emily Dickinson

Michael G

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Re: One Breath now the dust has settled
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2014, 07:28:30 PM »
Hi . Thanks for reminding me of A kiss to my twin in the context of One Breath.  I think that this is one my favourite songs of Anna,s . Her live performance of this really is really outstanding. This  really is an artist at their peak,  and I am not sure why it was not on the LP. Probably just space. Out of intrest,  I have the deluxe (?) vinyl  version of One Breath and it has the bonus single of 1970,s Wind/ Endless world.     1970,s wind is really just a small orchestral filler  piece, but Endless World is a really beautiful song very much in the vein of A kiss to my Twin.   At the moment this seems to be a forgotten little treasure.

wild_corgi

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Re: One Breath now the dust has settled
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2014, 08:54:09 PM »
And I'd forgotten 1970s Wind/Endless World!

I think I preferred 1970s Wind, it was so unexpected. Endless World was quite melancholy, new for Anna, but I couldn't get my head round the words.

jareed

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Re: One Breath now the dust has settled
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2014, 10:27:26 PM »
Yes, I think that the lyrics of "One Breath" are better. Especially "Love of my life", that are, in my opinion, her best verses ever. Maybe I miss, in her second record, the Jeff Buckley ispiration of a song like "The Devil".

For a long time The Devil was my #1 favourite song of hers. I remember listening to it and was totally taken aback by how powerful and emotional the buildup of that song was. I think No More Words is my all time favourite track now, but I have a special place in my heart for The Devil and hope she brings it back to her live setlist someday.

I also have to agree with the other comment about the live version of Carry Me Over. The outro with the arpeggios she does on the guitar are brilliant.

RidertoCavale

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Re: One Breath now the dust has settled
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2014, 09:38:59 AM »
I think that, depending on Anna's next record, One Breath will retrospectively be seen as a transitional record.  Kind of like the Kaleidoscope Album by Siouxsie and the Banshees.  Not in terms of musical style, but in terms of diverse experimentation.  She's just trying out so many different styles and ideas on this record, it feels a bit like a springboard to doing something much better.  That's not to say that
One Breath is a bad record, because nearly all of Anna's experiments are successful, but it does lack the more cohesive impact of the debut.

Nevertheless, I think it has great longevity, since the shear diversity means there's always something more to be found in the songs, and italso highlights the merits of each individual track more than the debut.

As for favourite song I can't decide.  I'm really loving Eliza at the moment; the vocal riffs that she does are just breathtaking, but I think 'Bleed Into Me' might win overall.  I think the atmosphere of that song is just beautiful.

Michael G

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Re: One Breath now the dust has settled
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2014, 02:29:50 PM »
I think that, depending on Anna's next record, One Breath will retrospectively be seen as a transitional record.  Kind of like the Kaleidoscope Album by Siouxsie and the Banshees.  Not in terms of musical style, but in terms of diverse experimentation.  She's just trying out so many different styles and ideas on this record, it feels a bit like a springboard to doing something much better.  That's not to say that
One Breath is a bad record, because nearly all of Anna's experiments are successful, but it does lack the more cohesive impact of the debut.

Nevertheless, I think it has great longevity, since the shear diversity means there's always something more to be found in the songs, and italso highlights the merits of each individual track more than the debut.

As for favourite song I can't decide.  I'm really loving Eliza at the moment; the vocal riffs that she does are just breathtaking, but I think 'Bleed Into Me' might win overall.  I think the atmosphere of that song is just beautiful.
   

Hi.   I totally agree with you. Initially I found One Breath rather confusing. It definitely requires repeated listening to appreciate the many new experimental themes   running through the Album.

It will be very intresting to see in which direction Anna's next album follows.

RidertoCavale

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Re: One Breath now the dust has settled
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2014, 06:01:23 PM »
It definitely will, since One Breath suggests a varied number of different styles that Anna could undertake and it's quite exciting! 

MrCricket

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Re: One Breath now the dust has settled
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2014, 06:54:16 PM »
Thirded! I was expecting Anna Calvi 2 and didn't get it. I don't have any expectations this time round but I'm intrigued. I wonder if she'll start working on it once the summer tour is over