One Breath - Anna Calvi

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Oct 4, 2013
    Calvi is unquestionably a great performer, but on One Breath, her work reaches a level of nuance that the majority of contemporary music lacks.
  2. Oct 17, 2013
    The album is as focused as its predecessor (both are 45 minutes), but it is emotionally more expansive.
  3. Oct 17, 2013
    [Not only is] One Breath a consistently captivating listen, but Anna Calvi a compelling artist.
  4. Oct 14, 2013
    Each song is coloured with a knowing intelligence and it all comes from her voice.
  5. Oct 11, 2013
    Minor caveats notwithstanding, at its best One Breath is, indeed, breathtaking, and an undeniable upgrade on its much-vaunted predecessor. [Nov 2013, p.87]
  6. Oct 11, 2013
    Beautiful and candid, One Breath proves Anna Calvi has her frailties. They just happen to be as captivating as her strengths. [Nov 2013, p.106]
  7. 80
    One Breath is a dynamic statement from a young woman who could very well be the next David Bowie or Nick Cave.
  8. Oct 8, 2013
    One Breath is a boldly cinematic work that is filled with passion and drama. [Nov 2013, p.67]
  9. Oct 8, 2013
    It’s hard to say what is more ferocious on Anna Calvi’s new album: her voice, her guitar, or the interplay between the two of them. Together they launch a formidable assault on One Breath.
  10. Oct 7, 2013
    One Breath lacks the overwhelming force of her earlier material, but given time it will surely burrow under your skin.
  11. One Breath draws on choppy emotions--grief, depression, anxiety--but Calvi commands the tides with the imperious authority of Barbara Stanwyck leading her posse in Sam Fuller's wild western Forty Guns.
  12. There’s new confidence here, and a sense that she’s stretching herself musically and lyrically.
  13. Oct 7, 2013
    Calvi's less adventurous fans may find themselves at a loss as to how to process it all, but there's something both immaculate and broken about One Breath that ultimately transcends its more difficult moments.
  14. 80
    It’s haughtier, humbler, more powerful, more delicate; it’s like Anna Calvi was dipping a toe in the sea, and now that she knows that the world rather quite approves of her, she’s ripped the ripcord and is delivering the beast within.
  15. Oct 3, 2013
    One Breath is a beautiful, atmospheric triumph.
  16. Oct 3, 2013
    One Breath is truly cathartic, but it will leave you a quivering wreck.
  17. Oct 3, 2013
    While the dynamics may be a little different, her wonderfully expressive, kaleidoscopic guitar playing and that voice, capable of alternating within the space of a few notes from a barely audible whisper to a wailing banshee, both remain as compelling as ever.
  18. Dec 18, 2013
    Though Calvi hardly ever breaks from her aesthetic on One Breath, she owns it so well that you'd be hard-pressed to complain. [No. 105, p.53]
  19. Dec 4, 2013
    [One Breath will not] take Anna Calvi out of the well-respected comfort zone that she currently inhabits. It is a striking and hypnotic record, laced with tension and talent, and bristling with a wide range of ideas. [Nov-Dec 2013, p.94]
  20. Oct 3, 2013
    One Breath benefits from its variety and from a taste for experimentation which, striking subtle chords that invite the listener to stay and revisit.
  21. Oct 3, 2013
    A far darker piece than her debut album, this is a downbeat yet profoundly affecting second act.
  22. Nov 20, 2013
    Calvi’s synthesized enough musical styles for at least three artists, and she’s clearly got ample chops to pull any of them off. She’s born to make a grand concept album one day. What she needs now is that grand concept.
  23. 60
    On her second album, Anna Calvi has lost much of the distinctive guitar work that helped make her debut so intriguing, but gained a deeper breadth of texture and structure to carry her emotional excursions.
  24. 60
    One Breath may not be a masterpiece but it does enough to suggest she has a chance of making one someday.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. Jan 26, 2014
    If first album was THE revelation of the year, One Breath is the alucination we needed. A wonderfull mix of energy, elegance, virtuosity, from intimate to epic ambience, along all tracks with no exception. BEST album of 2013. Full Review »
  2. Nov 9, 2013
    Always the same kind of hipstery-chic albums praised by many critics while the music is dull boring and flat.
    Nothing happens, it's just
    generic rock soup all along. Come on, when was it good music? If i Had a choice between that and silence, I would choose silence. Full Review »
  3. Nov 4, 2013
    Some interesting songs like Carry me Over (the best one), Cry and Sing to me showing some musical evolution, although Sing to Me sounds cliché. Songs like "Love of my life", "Tristan" and "Piece By Piece" sound out of context. Full Review »