Monday, February 4, 2013

Album Review: Torres - Torres

Torres - S/T

On the surface, there's not much to Nashville songwriter Mackenzie Scott's debut album as Torres.  Most of the songs feature almost entirely Scott's voice and a finger-picked guitar, with perhaps an occasional bass note or cello.  The music is extremely revealing, letting Scott’s excellent lyricism take the lead.  Her memorable words are often cynical but always beautiful: “Do you ever make it halfway down and think ‘God, I never meant to jump at all,’” she wonders on “Waterfall.”  “You always make my head spin more than the whiskey on our lips,” she scolds in “When Winter’s Over.”  Scott’s guitar is sometimes fuzzy and noisy, and she proves on “Honey” that she really knows how to rock out.  But, being from Nashville, she doesn’t shy away from country influences.  The understated warbliness of her voice on the quieter cuts is similar to country singer-songwriter darlings like Emmylou Harris and Iris Dement.  Her stark songwriting style is also clearly influenced by country music.  It’s always nice to have an unknown up-and-comer come out of nowhere with a good album, but Torres is an early 2013 standout that many will be talking about again in December.

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