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4.8 out of 5 stars
Aventine
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 30 September 2013
Agnes Obel's 2010 debut 'Philharmonics' was one of my most-loved albums
of that year. I can find no good reason at all to abandon her with the arrival
of her new release 'Aventine'. There are eleven numbers in the collection.
Her inimitably haunting voice can make the hair stand up on the back of your
neck. By turns cold as a mountain stream and warm as a comfortable, treasured,
well-worn sweater, it envelops you in its mysterious embrace. Dreamlike and
utterly beautiful. This is truly a recording to welcome in with open arms!

As in her past work, these piano-led compositions, embellished by occasional
additional instrumentation, subdued percussion and strings weave a glorious
web of sound around her mesmerising vocal performances. Comparisons with some
of Tori Amos' finest moments might not be unwarranted, especially on inventions
such as the exquisite waltz-time title track but Ms Obel is nevertheless the
sole Mistress of her melancholy muse. These are songs to listen to by moonlight.

Standout tracks include the gently flowing and utterly sublime 'Dorian' with
its beautifully tempered vocal harmonies; the curiously bluesy tick-tock of
time passing and mournful cello obligato on 'The Curse' and the delightful
piano miniature 'Tokka', which coming in to land at just a minute and a half
is a little tune of which the Czech composer Janacek might well have been proud.

'Aventine' is a tantalising, magical and utterly unmissable experience.

Highly Recommended.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 1 October 2013
Philharmonics was a great album featuring beautiful little piano melodies and that understated almost eerie vocal but whereas that album had a number of upbeat numbers amongst its content I believe this album to be just as beautiful but possessing a consistently darker edge. I feel it is not as immediate as the debut album but maybe needs a few plays to reveal its true worth. Anyone who bought the debut album will I'm sure appreciate this follow up as it is in the same vein. There are 3 lovely short instrumental piano tracks included - chord left, tokka and fivefold. There are also a couple of tracks where piano does not appear to feature but is probably there somewhere in the background. The title track is one of those and is a bit of a departure from the norm. My present favourite is fuel to fire but a different song slowly reveals its delights with each play. The album is completed with Smoke and mirrors which is an older song which featured on an earlier release and was included as a live version on the deluxe Philharmonics. All in all a lovely recording with Anne Muller again providing complimentary accompaniment on cello and violin to great effect. If it doesn't quite make its mark initially stick with it and I'm sure you will be rewarded eventually as I was.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 30 September 2013
I must admit to never having heard of Agnes Obel before until a friend pointed me in her direction at the weekend, warning me to look out for the release of this album. So I downloaded it this morning and have now listened to it 3 times in a row. It is truly a thing of haunting beauty, quite challenging in places but a delightful piece of work. Predominantly all you have is Ms Obel's soulful voice accompanied by Piano and the odd string instrument, the double bass being particularly effective. There are a couple of tracks that are purely solo piano, to my ears in the style of Erik Satie, and this quietly insistent style is also to be found on many of the vocal tracks. I love it, but it may not appeal to all. It IS very understated, there are no uptempo numbers, indeed tracks like "Run Cried The Calling" and "the Curse" are decidedly creepy but on the whole this is a very effective album of mood music and if you "get" it, you will love it as well.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 10 May 2015
This accomplished and interesting album is rich in melody , mood and atmosphere .There is a feeling of melancholy within the songs that weaves it's way throughout the whole album but the original melodies don't leave the listener ever feeling downcast .Quite the opposite ! One ends up with a feeling of warm satisfaction that they have experienced a fine work of musical depth and integrity .

I had only heard 'The Curse' prior to buying Aventine and was slightly concerned that the rest of the album may turn out to be disappointing by comparison but I found that each song ( including the instrumentals) easily hold their own !

Having enjoyed this particular album, I hope to also purchase Agnes's other work in the near future .
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 21 October 2013
After buy 10" single "The Curse", finally the full album "Aventime" was delivered.
It's a mix of classical and ethereal songs, with very delicate vocals, making the musical experience very special.
The vinyl edition has a very good sound quality, and beautiful insert sleeve with lyrics. Include a CD with full album,
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 February 2015
I saw Agnes Obel on Later with Jools Holland at what must have been around the time Aventine was released and really enjoyed the performance (she sang and played piano to the accompaniement of a violinist and cellist) but thought little more of it until a saw the CD adverised in a supplement. I checked out existing reviews on Amazon and was sufficiently impressed to buy. I wasn't disappointed. She has a lovely voice set to beautifully melodic and, to my ear, simply arranged music (piano, violin and cello to the fore) which provide a warming, soothing and relaxing listening experience. I subsequently bought the earlier released Philharmonics and found that to be just as enjoyable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 October 2014
A very soothing CD ,although I did feel that the whole CD had the same tone running through out.I would have liked to have more variety of songs . Agnes has a beautiful voice and she transports you to another plain. Nice to take with you on a long car journey or put on after a hard day at the office to chill out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 April 2014
Loved the theme to Shetland on the TV and became interested when I heard Riverside, if you like that then you will like this. Magical.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 April 2014
Obel has a lovely, etheral and evocative sound, without being wishy-washy or insipid. A brilliant talent. I'll probably get her other CDs too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 April 2014
I love the simple haunting tunes on this album - the music fires my imagination and I don't think I will ever tire of hearing it
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