Anna Calvi (album)

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This article is about the album. For the artist, see Anna Calvi.
Anna Calvi
Studio album by Anna Calvi
Released 14 January 2011
Recorded Autumn 2010
Genre Art rock
Length 39:17
Label Domino
Producer Rob Ellis, Anna Calvi
Anna Calvi chronology
Anna Calvi
(2011)
One Breath
(2013)
Singles from Anna Calvi
  1. "Blackout"
    Released: 21 March 2011
  2. "Desire"
    Released: 20 June 2011
  3. "Suzanne & I"
    Released: 12 September 2011

Anna Calvi is the eponymous debut album of British singer-songwriter Anna Calvi, released on 14 January 2011, by Domino Records.[1][2] In Autumn, 2010, Calvi entered Black Box studio in France with producer Rob Ellis[3] and, using vintage analogue equipment, created "a velvet Wall of Sound that justified the hype in the buildup to its 2011 release."[4] The album peaked at No. 40 in the UK Album Charts[5] reached No. 17 in France,[6] and entered several European charts. The album has been nominated for the 2011 Barclaycard Mercury Prize.

History[edit]

The debut album's material had been written in Anna Calvi's parents' attic, using eight-track equipment. Of Rob Ellis, best known for his work with PJ Harvey, she said:

He’s old-school rock‘n roll… you know, 'Hit the drums harder!' Which I love. We both share a love of classical music...he loves the same composers as I do. So I didn’t have to explain what I meant when I said that I wanted I wanted a guitar or a shaker to sound like an orchestra. It was great to find someone who understood.[7]

Calvi herself said she was proud with the album and picked out two songs where she felt she'd got close to what she ultimately wanted to achieve: "Love Won’t Be Leaving" (noted for microscopic sound detailisation) and "The Devil". "I see music very visually. And I want the music itself to express the story as much, if not more, than the lyrics. I think I achieved that on Love Won’t Be Leaving," she commented on the former. As for the latter, "It’s a good example of how I wanted to make the guitar sound like another instrument. I wanted the middle-section to sound like the strings on a Hitchcock soundtrack. It crescendos towards an explosion, but in a real and honest way. It's not about bravado," she added.[7]

Singles[edit]

"Blackout" (with the cover of an Elvis Presley song 'Surrender' on the b-side) was released as the first single from the album on 21 March 2011[8] and was debuted on Pitchfork in the US.[9] "Desire" was the second single (backed with a reworking of Leonard Cohen's "Joan Of Arc") and was released on 20 June 2011. The track was available on 7” (RUG412) and via digital download (RUG412D).[10] "Suzanne & I" (backed with the cover of the Shirelles "Baby It's You") was released as the third single from the album on 12 September 2011.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]
BBC Music favourable[11]
Contactmusic favourable[12]
The Fly 4/5 stars[13]
Independent on Sunday 10/10 stars[14]
New Musical Express 9/10 stars[15]
Q 3/5 stars[16]
The Observer favourable[17]
Rave 4/5 stars[18]
Classic Rock 8/10 stars[19]

Upon its release, the album received generally good reviews from music critics. Aggregating website AnyDecentMusic? reports a score of 7.6 based on 29 professional reviews,[20] Independent on Sunday giving it the highest 5/5 ranking.[21]

Reviewer Eamonn Seoige (IHeart AU), called the album "fully-formed and... an instantly engaging body of work", argued that it's "key strength is honest, raw power." Describing Calvi's songs as "poetic, free-flowing, often incorporating multiple styles that frame her distinctive and kaleidoscopic vocal range," he added: "A gifted musician, possessor of a unique voice and writer of inimitable songs, Calvi is already primed for greatness."[22] Matt James of PopMatters described Calvi as "eternally glamorous, but perennially doomed nightclub torch-song singer with a skeleton army in their closet" and her debut, never "afraid to be fantastical, striking," as "rich and strange".[23] NME called the debut "perhaps the first great record of 2011."[15] According to Jon O'Brien of AllMusic, this "ambitious and always intriguing debut... heralds the arrival of a unique and inventive addition to the plethora of U.K. female singer/songwriters."[1]

Mojo placed the album at number 8 on its list of "Top 50 albums of 2011."[24]

Publication Score NME 9/10 Mojo 4* Uncut 4* The Observer Album of The Week Independent on Sunday Album of The Week Evening Standard 4* Album of The Week Irish Times 4* Album of The Week Irish Tribune 5/5 Album of The Week Guardian 4* The Times 4* Financial Times 4* Daily Mail 4* The Sun 4* Time Out 4* Album of The Week Artrocker 4* The Fly 4* Rough Trade Album of The Month

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Anna Calvi. 

No. Title Length
1. "Rider to the Sea"   2:40
2. "No More Words"   3:51
3. "Desire"   3:51
4. "Suzanne & I"   4:11
5. "First We Kiss"   3:05
6. "The Devil"   4:34
7. "Blackout"   4:05
8. "I'll Be Your Man"   3:10
9. "Morning Light"   4:13
10. "Love Won't Be Leaving"   5:37

Personnel[edit]

  • Anna Calvi – lead vocals, bass guitar, guitar, organ, piano, producer, string arrangements, strings, violin
  • Brian Eno – piano, backing vocals (tracks 3, 4)
  • Mally Harpaz – drums, harmonium, percussion
  • Daniel Maiden-Wood – bass, drums, backing vocals
  • Dave Okumu – backing vocals (track 2)

Technical personnel[edit]

  • Peter Deimel – engineer
  • Rob Ellis – producer
  • David Odlux – assistant
  • Chris Potter – mastering
  • Jimmy Robertson – engineer
  • Craig Silvey – mixing
  • Pritpal Soor – mixing, producer
  • Emma Nathan - artwork

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2011) Peak
position
Austrian Albums Chart[25] 33
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[26] 9
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)[27] 36
Dutch Albums Chart[28] 68
French Albums Chart[29] 17
Irish Albums Chart[30] 72
Swedish Albums Chart[31] 55
Swiss Albums Chart[32] 40
UK Albums Chart[33] 40

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Anna Calvi album review". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 2011-10-12. Retrieved 1 January 2011. 
  2. ^ Domino Record Company, Retrieved 18 January 2011. Archived April 20, 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Perry, Andrew (10 January 2011). "Anna Calvi: giving voice to passion and desire". The Daily Telegraph (London). Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. 
  4. ^ AllMusic biography. Archived September 6, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ UK Albums Chart – Week: 23 January 2011, Retrieved 27 January 2011. Archived October 21, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ lescharts.com – Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi @ lescharts.com. Archived April 21, 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ a b Anna Calvi's profile. Domino Records. Archived April 20, 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Domino | News | Anna Calvi Announces New Single 'Blackout' Archived October 20, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Pitchfork: Forkcast: Anna Calvi: Blackout. Archived October 24, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Desire to be next single. – www.annacalvi.com Archived October 19, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Chris White. Album Review: Anna Calvi. BBC Music Archived September 5, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Anna Calvi review. www.contactmusic.com. Archived March 1, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Anna Calvi review. www.the-fly.co.uk. Archived January 20, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Anna Calvi review. Independent on Sunday. Archived November 10, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ a b Album Review: Anna Calvi. New Musical Express. Archived October 11, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Phil Mongredien. Q Magazine. February Anna Calvi. P.113
  17. ^ Kitty Empire. Anna Calvi review. www.guardian.co.uk. Archived June 13, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Anna Calvi review. Rave magazine. Archived March 16, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ Doran, John (March 2011). "Anna Calvi - Anna CAlvi". Classic Rock 155. London, UK: Future plc. p. 93. 
  20. ^ "Anna Calvi debut album". AnyDecentMusic?. Archived from the original on 2012-05-30. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  21. ^ Simmy Richman. "Album: Anna Calvi, Anna Calvi (Domino)". Independent on Sunday. Archived from the original on 2012-11-10. Retrieved 1 January 2011. 
  22. ^ Anna Calvi review. IHeart AU Archived February 12, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ Matt James Anna Calvi PopMatters review. Archived January 29, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ "MOJO's Top 50 Albums Of 2011". Stereogum. 2 December 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-10-18. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  25. ^ "Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi (Album)". austriancharts.at/. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 2013-12-28. 
  26. ^ "Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi (Album)". ultratop.be/nl/. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 2012-11-02. 
  27. ^ "Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi (Album)". ultratop.be/fr/. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 2012-11-02. 
  28. ^ "Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi (Album)". dutchcharts.nl/. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 2013-12-25. 
  29. ^ "Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi (Album)". lescharts.com/. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 2014-04-21. 
  30. ^ "Anna Calvi". irish-charts.com/. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 2013-10-14. 
  31. ^ "Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi (Album)". swedishcharts.com/. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 2013-12-24. 
  32. ^ "Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi (Album)". hitparade.ch/. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 2013-12-24. 
  33. ^ "Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi". chartstats.com/. Archived from the original on 2012-10-22.