October 2013 National Music Reviews

Review: Agnes Obel – Aventine

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Agnes Obel
Aventine
Play It Again Sam
Street: 09.30
Agnes Obel = Joanna Newsom + Lana Del Rey + Feist
Sweet as dark chocolate, Agnes Obel combines sultry yet poppy chamber instrumentals with whimsical vocals that make the Danish singer/songwriter’s sophomore album an absolute delight. Varying from dreamy music-box-esque instrumentals, such as “Tokka,” to eerie, minimalistic confessionals like “Dorian” and “Smoke and Mirrors,” Obel manages to seamlessly weave an assortment of different sounds into one amazing musical tapestry. While Obel’s vocal capabilities provide a hauntingly sweet sound, it is the orchestration­—the piano in particular—that reigns supreme on this album. Somber composition, paired with precise skill, showcases Obel’s musicianship as not only versatile, but also creative and well rounded. Put simply, if you appreciate quality classical instrumentation and enjoy soft-spoken vocals, this album will definitely become your new BFF. –Allison Shephard

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