Anna Meredith - ANNO: Four Seasons
ANNO: Four Seasons
Anna Meredith is sort of the next level of what music can be. He erratic and bold style is so wholly her own that this album feels a like a bit of a miss. Reinterpreting Vivaldi's heralded "Four Seasons" has been done over and over again. EDM remix, all acoustic guitar re-work the masterpiece has been done to the point of it being so common that any new imagining feels fruitless. That is sort of the place Meredith begins this record, supremely confident in her own skill but working in a space that doesn't fit. Her music for the film "Eighth Grade" was frantic and wild showing a time of life that is one of the most confusing. Here however she sits comfortably with Her typical day job of being a real classical composer. The songs don't have her wild energy of desire for newness. "Dawn (Spring)" feels so on the nose that the clamoring of birds that eventually comes on "Birds (Spring)" feels just like more noise when it could really set the piece in some kind of natural splendor. Some one who doesn't know Meredith or Vivaldi for that matter would find this work super relaxing and stunningly subtle in a lot of ways, but when you know the history of this music it just feels too weighed down by it's won baggage. Some of her experimentation comes out on "Stop (Spring)" but the simple drum machine really takes away from the grandness she is trying to invoke with this record. The one major offender here is the harpsichord, it makes the record feel so damn old and it can never quite pull away from it.
The electronic elements don't make sense when they are smashed up against something that sounds like it belongs in a French Castle. It's sad too because there are some inspiringly beautiful moments like on "Haze (Summer)", but at other times she sticks so closely to the original work that it doesn't feel like much. We can go back and listen to thousands and thousands of recordings of these songs so if you are going to do them you need to bring your absolute A game and really switch things up, otherwise why not listen to the original? She does add some synth on "Bloom (Autumn)" and take you down a tech rabbit hole but you would have needed a full album of this kind of work to really make this thing soar rather than one track here and there. It's a shame because as a composer Meredith is so talented, but this record is not going to garner her many new fans. None of that particularly matters to Meredith as her services are some of the most sought after in the high art music world and she continues to do what the fuck she wants. This is not her best records and probably wasn't meant to be, you just wish it was more than it is.
6.0 out of 10