TORRES

Three Futures

4AD

Sep 29, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


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"I'm not a righteous woman," sings Mackenzie Scott (TORRES) on the fourth track of Three Futures. She's right: the Georgia-born guitarist has made a third album that is introspective and cautious. While it experiments with melody, testing out and trying new ways to loop in emotional intensity under sharp rhythms and brooding lyrics, it certainly doesn't take anything for granted. On Three Futures, TORRES presents herself as a complex, if wary, character.

A rich, deep alto, Scott's voice slides over her minimal guitar with poetic lyrics detailing past relationships, most often lined with betrayal. "We lined the Hudson with our tangents/You trusted me to love your parents," she sings on "Three Futures," while on "To Be Given a Body," she is "drowsy on the ski lift." Both lines are typical of the elegant imagery that also runs through TORRES's 2013 self-titled album, and 2015's Sprinter.

But the record falls slightly short of the remarkable talent of which Scott is quietly made. While individually gripping enough, together each track all-too noticeably plods along at too similar a tempo. "Bad Baby Pie" features experimental stutters, and the woozy guitar of "Marble Focus" is warming, but a more explicit change or experimentation in another direction is needed to give this album a kick-start.

The most powerful tracks are those where TORRES leaves behind her usual wariness, and gets fired-up: on "Skim" she has caught her lover with a man. "I'm only the skim of what has already been," she sings, simmering. "Helen in the Woods" is similarly commanding, with an intensity running through the pounding bass and a vocal that, for once, is set alight rather than left to run out.

Where there is fervour, Three Futures stands up to be counted. Without it, the record rattles along at all too a subdued pace. (www.torreslovesyou.com)

Author rating: 6.5/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10



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