Smile Politely

Push Play Gets Political

Three years ago I fell in love with Emiliana Torrini’s Fisherman’s Woman. Her lyrics were soft, mournful and pretty. The album, however, never got much press and its most famous song, “Sunny Road,” was the only one most people would recognize.

Her release last month, Me and Armini, has caused more of a stir. This album is more playful and experimental – hell, there’s even an electric guitar in this album, which is not something I’d ever imagine her diverting to after Fisherman’s Woman.

The song, “Jungle Drum,” is in my opinion, the opposite end of the spectrum than those tracks featured on Fisherman’s Woman. It’s the key song on the album that shows Torrini’s new found playfulness.

Emiliana Torrini – Jungle Drum

I’m not sure whether or not I like this album more than her last. I had formed a picture, a character, in my mind on what kind of woman had created her 2005 album. The music is so different now that I’m not sure how to respond to it besides viewing her as a separate musician than she was three years ago. Though songs like “Big Jumps” are only going to help her cause in finally becoming a recognized musician.

Emiliana Torrini – Bug Jumps

While Torrini’s voice is high, clear and pretty, the next musician I have is loud and hazy. The Lady Tigra featured the song “First Black, First Lady” in a politically conscience performance (as apart of “At The Show,” an L.A. music scene showcase) last week, and while the song isn’t necessarily something I’m generally into, it seems noteworthy given that music is playing a larger role in the election than it has the past few years.

The Lady Tigra – First Black, First Lady

Okay, I’ll back-step and recognize the way some musicians openly denounced Bush four years ago, but I haven’t seen musicians so one-sided in my lifetime. Hence, The Lady Tigra’s L.A. performance for “Obama-rama,” not to mention the handful of musicians who have either sued McCain or politely told him they do not appreciate him using their music.

The Lady Tigra’s song, however, is promoting Michelle Obama’s role in this race, which makes me particularly happy after Michelle Obama’s impressive interview with Larry King.

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