Asile's World

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Elisa's debut album introduced a very enthusiastic Alanis Morissette fan making her own brand of alternative rock from an Italian viewpoint. On her second album, Asile's World, Elisa seems to have discovered some new influences along the way. Most importantly, it sounds like she discovered Björk, whose influence overtakes any other on this album. Again, Elisa takes what could be a fatal flaw (wearing her influences right on her sleeve) and turns it into a positive listening experience. Instead of simply ripping off her peers, she learns from them, and that is the difference that makes Asile's World a good listen. "Happiness Is Home" is a shuffling torch song that brings to mind her last album with its acoustic guitar work, but then songs like "Chameleon" bring her new trip-hop attitude to the forefront with its blatant Björk vocal phrasings and oddball lyrics. Elisa does inject a healthy dose of her own personality into the music, giving it a wide-eyed innocence and European attitude that most musicians in her field lack. "Seven Times" is a good example -- despite the sensual beat and lusty lyrics there is a certain naïve feel surrounding the proceedings. And though her sound has changed drastically between albums, she manages to live up to her own ambitions from song to song. "Creature"'s dramatic mood and instrumentation brings to mind Choirgirl Hotel-era Tori Amos, while the title track could have easily fit onto Kate Bush's Hounds of Love. Elisa is a talented and charming musician who benefits from her influences; fans of any of the musicians mentioned above should give this a listen.

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