Anna von Hausswolff - The Miraculous - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Anna von Hausswolff - The Miraculous

by Jim Harris Rating:8 Release Date:2015-11-13

If Kate Bush had a sexier, less mousy voice, and teamed with Nine Inch Nails on a concept album, it probably still wouldn’t be as consistently interesting as the Swedish born artist, Anna von Hausswolff’s new abum, The Miraculous.  It takes balls, for one thing, to have such an album title, and then such seemingly pretentious song titles as ‘Deliverance’, ‘Discovery’, and ‘Evocation’ without somewhat alienating an alternative music listener. (But one song title really struck a chord, the oddly titled, ‘The Hope of Only Empty Men’ which, if Anna were to talk to any of my Ex’s, they would all agree, ‘Hope confirmed.’)

Anna von Hausswolff, though, has done something different and fascinating with this album.  Blending folk and even industrial electronics with a pipe organ, and steaming a beautiful and haunting voice over it all at just the right intervals, generates some of the most engaging conceptual rock I’ve heard in a while.

The first track, ‘Discovery’, had me a bit worried in the sort of horror movie church organ beginning that seemed on the verge of dragging on a bit long, but then that voice.  Anna’s voice is beautiful but more rugged than sweet, and soars brilliantly throughout this album.  Each song is indeed evocative and moving in its own way.  Oddly enough, there are couple of very compelling shorter tracks that take her vision almost into the pop world, as with the strongest track, ‘Come Wander With Me’, which is a pleasant mix of industrial electro-pop and her compelling voice.

The only time the album sinks some is with the elongated holding down of one or two keys on the organ thing she does to evoke some sort of drama or mood or something.  That’s when her concept gets a bit tedious.  But the strong moments override the dull moments and you would expect greater musical excursions in Anna von Hausswolff’s musical future.

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