On 2002's L'Eccezione, Carmen Consoli showed herself to be a mature, insightful writer capable of creating both soft, pensive songs and louder, more aggressive ones while always retaining the blend of introspection and impertinence that she's displayed since her 1996 debut. Here, on Eva Contro Eva, the contemplation remains, but this time her guitars are solely acoustic and her thoughts are directed outward towards contemporary society. In fact, it seems as if Consoli feels she has a personal obligation to expose the hypocrisies that exist, something that, while perhaps noble and even correct, can come across a bit heavy-handed and sermonizing at times -- ironic considering her near-disdain for organized religion (particularly evidenced in "Maria Catena"). Still, she makes her points clear, and is rather eloquent about doing so, each song is a well-laid-out scene, a detailed portrayal of life. Not that the singer spends the whole time criticizing -- sadder, gentler pieces like "Il Sorriso di Atlantide" and "Sulle Rive di Morfeo" are as much a part of the album's framework as the more biting commentary of "Tutto Su Eva" or "Signor Tentenna" -- but a good deal of Eva Contro Eva (which means "Eve Against Eve") is provocative and unabashedly disapproving, contrasting nicely with her voice, which can be almost fragile, floating delicately among the various strings and woodwinds, but always sure of itself and its purpose. Musically, Consoli pulls away from the American rock that dominated her earlier work, and to a lesser extent, L'Eccezione, focusing more on organic, acoustic instruments, including traditional Sicilian ones, which give the album an older, earthy sound despite its very modern lyrical and chordal sensibilities. There's a lightness to it, much is part thanks to Consoli's strong sense of melody, which keeps everything grounded and enjoyable, and though there's nothing on Eva Contro Eva that's as immediately catchy as "Mulini a Vento" or "Moderato in Re Minore," the soft poppiness makes for songs that, nurtured by the same Sicilian dirt and sun and stone as the singer herself, grow over time into something silently powerful and complete.
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AllMusic Review by Marisa Brown