Elisa's seventh album feels like a shard of a Tori Amos record -- not quantity-wise, as, at 74 minutes, it is actually longer than it should be, but in terms of style and songwriting, offering a nice rehash of some facets of Tori's music, but not being nearly as elaborate or versatile enough. Elisa was known previously for flirting with a number of styles, from alterna-rock to trip-hop, but Ivy is firmly centered on her piano and the vocals, full of delicate emotion. Too delicate, in fact: most compositions are slow, elegiac, melody-driven ballads in the vein of "Winter," and while that works for one song, the music begins to blur together after half a dozen nearly identical tunes. A lack of hooks and lyrics like "They call me lullaby cause all I want in my life is to fly" don't help, either. Elisa instinctively feels what the album needs to boost the effect, and tries to channel Coldplay on midtempo rock tracks like "Ti Vorrei Sollevare," but even there, her sentimentality gets the better of her, and whatever pomp or quiet groove the songs could have dissolves in a sea of melodic sweetness. Even covers of Smashing Pumpkins and Queens of the Stone Age don't do much -- she picked pieces that fit her style rather than enhancing it, and the treatment they receive does nothing to change it. Ivy is still not without good points -- it's actually great background music -- but it seems like an underachievement simply because of the fact that, with these influences, it could have been something bigger.
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AllMusic Review by Alexey Eremenko
Track Listing - Disc 1