TORRES: Sprinter (Partisan) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, May 29th, 2024  

Issue #53 - April/May 2015 - Tame ImpalaTORRES



May 08, 2015 TORRES Bookmark and Share

When singer/songwriter and Macon, GA native Mackenzie Scott released her debut self-titled album under the moniker TORRES a day before her 23rd birthday in early 2013, reactions mostly focused on the fact that Scott’s country-fried approach to emotionally devastating slow rock songs showed great promise but hadn’t quite rounded into shape. The album seemed muted, restrained and hesitant. And while Scott seemed capable of writing nuanced yet harrowing ballads, such as the searing break-up car crash and album highlight “Honey,” it felt like she too often glossed over the more jagged edges of her songs that could have really given the record more dimension.

To write her sophomore album Sprinter, Scott changed scenery completely, decamping for the small town of Bridport in Dorset, England. During the recording, she collaborated with Portishead’s Adrian Utley as well PJ Harvey’s rhythm section of multi-instrumentalist Rob Ellis and bassist Ian Olliver. The resulting record has Scott’s country twang wrapped in generous swaths of moody, ‘90s British alternative rock, replete with hazy, atmospheric production flourishes, a marriage of influences and sounds that produces fascinating moments but doesn’t quite gel across all of Sprinter. While tracks like the stripped down weirdness of “The Harshest Light” and the wispy, dark fantasy “Son, You Are No Island” make the most of Scott’s new direction, lead single “Strange Hellos” suffers the most, angsty and awkwardly pining in ways that feel put on and callously strategic. Scott is at her best on Sprinter when she loosens the reins and lets her musical roots coalesce with her newer preferred sounds in smaller, more subtle ways.


Author rating: 6/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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