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Emiliana Torrini
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Because Emiliana Torrini hails from Iceland and favors mid-tempo electronica behind her smooth pop melodies, comparisons to Bj”rk are inevitable. On those few occasions on Love in the Time of Science when Torrini sings out and lets her voice soar, especially on "Telepathy," she does sound like her compatriot, but most of the time, Torrini has her own style -- and a charming one it is. Intimate and restrained, with a whispery edge and a melancholy center, her voice is invitingly introspective, lightly swinging on "Unemployed in Summertime" and slightly soulful on "Tuna Fish." Atop a blue-toned blend of soft electronic beats, gently plucked guitars, soothing keyboard washes, and slowly syncopated bass, Torrini explores the emotional terrain of broken romances and renewed hope. In her early twenties, she's a youthful romantic at heart, but a self-aware and clear-eyed one ("It shouldn't hurt me to be free/ It's what I need/ To pull myself together" goes the chorus of "To Be Free"). Emiliana Torrini's not the only woman to examine love in the time of programming, Beth Orton and Dido also come to mind, but she's one of the most alluring. Steve Klinge

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