Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

Torres – Sprinter

Mixed reviews for those vocals…


Will Adams: I’m so happy that “Building a Mystery” still has a legacy eighteen years on.

Micha Cavaseno: Torres has been holding it down for a minute. Her debut was a great showcase for her sweeping oven of a voice as it crackled, albeit somewhat difficult to hear the quote-unquote “endgame.” Right now, she appears to be demonstrating it with some panache, flecks of Jeff Buckley crestings, with a feeling of eroded cellophane tape in the sudden guitar-squeal punch-ins, reminding me of the guitar tone of Steve Austin of all people. The way she’s conveyed herself vocally and lyrically have always been straightforward, but there’s a growing restlessness that suggests a bewildering future.

Rebecca A. Gowns: The Baptist roots shine through strongly here: wailing melodrama shifting into clear-eyed confession; hushed mentions of signs and Sons; the repeated refrain of running away from what one can’t confront. The song is all climax, all speaking in tongues — coded words partially obscured by the droning guitars — so it’s fitting that the actual climax settles into stillness. I admire her effort and craft even though it’s not speaking to me.

Alfred Soto: A performance for which the adjective “coiled” is most apt, except the disgust in Torres’ voice on learning about the pastor and his pornography is uncloaked. But the use of echo baffled me, and the chorus jogs in place.

Josh Langhoff: “Sprinter” is built like a contemporary praise and worship song: a couple boring four-chord progressions cycle round and round over a skull thwacking backbeat, with any harmonic thickening courtesy the lead guitar, and there’s even a singalong revelation for a coda. Rather than chalk this up to Mackenzie Scott’s Baptist upbringing, I’ll guess that she and fellow Baptist Chris Tomlin are drawing on a common antecedent, secular ’90s alt-rock, because the 20-year-old sound still signifies “modern” for their audiences, and the structure allows the songwriters to plug in their forced catharses. Songs like these live and die by their timbres. But hey, I like PJ Harvey as much as the next evangelical, so Torres’s voice’ll do in a pinch.

Katherine St Asaph: I keep wanting this to be either more guttural, to match the opening and Torres’ throaty PJ vocal (I’d say who the style really reminds me of favorably, but it’d get me kicked out of criticland), or more delicate, to match the melody.

Reader average: [6] (1 vote)

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