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Anna Tivel (from the album Outsiders on Mama Bird Recording Co) (by Lee Zimmerman)
Anna Tivel has always been an elusive artist, one who embodies an aura of mystery and mystique in her softly shared melodies and emphasis on insight. Her new album, Outsiders, offers more of the same, although its arched intents suggest there’s a wider perspective at play here as well. Giving a voice to characters that stumble in the midst of division and despair, the songs focus on the minutia that inhibits personal interaction. Tivel makes no amends for the flaws and foibles that are so common as far as human behavior is concerned, emphasizing instead the innate bond that all individuals hold in common.
‘Outsiders, look up/The night is dark but brilliant and it turns out we are not so different’ she murmurs on the title track.
That said, the arrangements are both quiet and contemplative, given a soft hue that rarely rises above a whisper. For all Anna Tivel’s attempts at sharing some wider wisdom, the sound remains decidedly introspective. ‘Nothing ever changes, when you ring the bell’ she insists on “The Bell”, which aptly falls as the final song of the set. Other than an occasional attempt at adding a little emphasis to some of the undertow, the melodies are uniformly hushed, haunting and flush with dreamy designs. The wistful drift of opening track “Outsiders” sets the mood, its meditative mood recalling the feelings felt by those who watched in awe as man took his first steps on the moon. The songs drift and sway from that point on, each imbued with a fragile finesse that’s so delicate and unobtrusive, it’s as if care was taken as not to stir up the proceedings. Indeed, one imagines the musicians approaching the arrangements as the equivalent of walking on eggshells, or intruding on a sacred sacrament that one would dare not disturb.
Needless to say, Outsiders requires a closer listen, not only to fully appreciate the sonics and circumstance, but also to grasp the theme Anna Tivel’s attempting to convey, specifically the loneliness and separation that has resulted in a sense of isolation overall. Consider the topic one of communal concern. (By Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of Anna Tivel from AMAZON
For more information and purchase options, please visit Anna Tivel website
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