Album review: Agnes Obel, Aventine (Play It Again Sam)


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The Independent Culture

Agnes Obel's 2010 debut Philharmonics grabbed attention through its understatement, eventually achieving quintuple-platinum status in her native Denmark. Aventine follows in like vein: the hushed preciosity of her murmur recalls the similarly understated Ane Brun, while her piano settings are strongly redolent of Erik Satie, especially the opening instrumental "Chord Left", melodically reminiscent of one of the Gnossiennes. Obel's piano and cello arrangements are worked out with Einaudi-esque care and logicality. It's all neatly-dressed, buttoned-down and restrained but sometimes suffocatingly introspective, with lyrics mining a private image bank; even so, some moments cut to the emotional quick.

Download: Aventine; Run Cried The Crawling; The Curse