Anna Calvi (album)

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This article is about the album. For the artist, see Anna Calvi.
Anna Calvi
Anna-Calvi-2.jpg
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 20 April 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 6 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ UK Albums Chart – Week: 23 January 2011, Retrieved 27 January 2011. Archived 21 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ lescharts.com – Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi @ lescharts.com. Archived 21 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ a b Anna Calvi's profile. Domino Records. Archived 20 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Domino | News | Anna Calvi Announces New Single 'Blackout' Archived 20 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Pitchfork: Forkcast: Anna Calvi: Blackout. Archived 24 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ Desire to be next single. – www.annacalvi.com Archived 19 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ Chris White. Album Review: Anna Calvi. BBC Music Archived 5 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ Anna Calvi review. www.contactmusic.com. Archived 1 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ Anna Calvi review. www.the-fly.co.uk. Archived 20 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ Anna Calvi review. Independent on Sunday. Archived 10 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ a b Album Review: Anna Calvi. New Musical Express. Archived 11 October 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 13 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  18. ^ Anna Calvi review. Rave magazine. Archived 16 March 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 12 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  23. ^ Matt James Anna Calvi PopMatters review. Archived 29 January 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.