What an enormous room by Torres album review by Greg Walker for Northern Transmissions


What an enormous room


Torres’ latest album, What an enormous room, is sparse, but sparse in the way Low or Depeche Mode is sparse, with an often satisfying bite. Especially in its lyrical content: like the album single, “Collect,” where she asks with a smile on her face, “Did I hit a nerve?” The answer to that question on this somewhat monochrome album is ‘yes’ and ‘no.’

The second half of the album is definitely more sonically pleasing than the first half. Throughout there are glimmers of genius, but despite its angsty production and bold lyricism, it just never seems to drive the point home. It’s not for a lack of ambition. “If you’re here it means you survived / your own death sentence / so rest in pleasure now / no more artificial limits,” she sings on a song that sounds like it was recorded in an enormous room. The enormity of the album, however, is more often found in its edgy themes, like “Ugly mystery” and “Jerk into joy,” than in its decidedly limited sound.

But taken as a sort of minimalist work it works on many levels. Fuzzed out guitars, adventurous harmonies, an always industrial edge to each of the songs. It is not “lo-fi” in the conventional sense, but if you’re able to suspend your need for grander, fuller arrangements, you can perhaps dig into an album that is big and brave in its designs. “Didn’t know I’d wake to flowers / After going to sleep to rain / Is this my life? / I’m surprised, I’m surprised.”

You leave the album changed by her depth and honesty. If the first half of the album were as much like the second half of the album, I would have considered this a rousing success. As it is, it’s a bit of a hit or miss album, one that succeeds in its melodies and lyrics, but not always in its full song delivery.

Order What An Enormous Room by Torres HERE


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