DVA - Emika
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The second full-length release for the British electronic singer Ema Jolly includes a cover of Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game."
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Jun 10, 2013
    70
    Dva is a calmly delivered artistic statement, one that makes a compelling case that Emika could earn the kind of praise currently lavished upon James Blake.
  2. Jun 10, 2013
    70
    It is perhaps slightly too long and lacks anything as thrilling as Drop The Other, but it nevertheless represents Emika as a fascinating artist with immeasurable promise.
  3. Jun 10, 2013
    70
    The debut is the one with the hits that draw you into her dark mood, while DVA is the sludgy one you sink into and wallow in for a while.
  4. Jun 17, 2013
    60
    The results are gorgeous, but frustratingly circumspect: twitchy, mournful, would-be futuristic dark pop that's almost comforting in its claustrophobia. [No.99, p.55]
  5. Jun 20, 2013
    60
    By compartmentalising Emika as it does, DVA leaves a nagging sense that she's still selling herself a little short.
  6. Jun 17, 2013
    60
    If Emika's voice lets her down a bit in places, as a producer she knows how to mould it into strange and interesting shapes. [Jul 2013, p.103]
  7. Jun 17, 2013
    59
    In Dva, Emika may be aspiring to a larger scale of pop, but for the most part this only serves to amplify her flaws.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Jun 20, 2013
    10
    An amazing album! Clearly a continuation of her previous self-titled album, but with more atmospheric tracks and it has more dubstep/trip-hop influences in my opinion. Expand
  2. Jul 10, 2013
    8
    DVA is both a political and a personal album to Emika. It’s an album that shows “reflections of oppression and freedom, political, sexual, artistic.” It’s the album that she wants to do, and she has; for her, it is returning to her roots. Gone is the heavy pounding skull shattering deep and dark bass which brought to life her first album that had a very autumnal darkness to it, whereas DVA is more like winter. At sixteen tracks, you expect the album to be long, and at a running time of an hour, it is. And, unfortunately it can drag on, especially in “Mouth to Mouth” which is too ambient for it’s six and half minute length. The album does loose itself after around track ten, normally the closing stages of an album. Although, Emika brings us back in with the closing three tracks, she engages us. I feel like the album is bookended by “Hush” and bonus track “Murmer” presenting a story book feel with a prologue and epilogue.

    The album thrives more with good speakers/headphones, as you really pick up on the bass in the tracks which is the albums backbone just as with the last album. “Young Minds” feels a little cheesy with it’s synth brass but you get a deeper feel for the song when the bass comes in but it still underwhelms slightly. “She Beats” though, contrasts with scattering synth lines and a running pulsating bass line interspersed with piano, an element that I really like on DVA, the classical influences and sounds. Emika’s voice really shines and throughout the album she shows us her seductive tone. “She Beats” also has this really eerie synth pattern to close the song, the sound of a dying games console almost.

    The album is a slow moving one that swirls you downwards from the sky, and for that it may be hard to get into. But once you are their it really sucks you in. The album’s nature is not immediate, it’s calming but moody.

    “Dem Worlds” is a good example of the classical influences that Emika has taken on board on this second album, a stripped back track with her voice accompanied by strings, the strings are continued in “Primary Colours”, a song I feel I know but blows me away every time.

    The album is long, and because of that I feel that there is too much to cover. There is a lot to be found in this album and I feel that songs will jump out at me in future and envelop me, whilst others will dwindle away. But the main theme is an eerie darkness, like in the beginning of “Searching” or in “Centuries” and “Criminal Gift”, a back to back extravaganza of Emika’s capabilities to produce good quality music. “Criminal Gift” is just such a good closer with the Electronic Piano laying with her vocals waiting for the bass to come in, waiting. And then the bass line rumbles in seductively, There is a distorted quiet destructive feel to this song, and I love it.

    Emika a solid album with DVA but one that can feel a bit too tiresome and bloated at points, where you are trying to find the enjoyable, and you get their, and you love it, but yet you still feel worn out.
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