Emilie Autumn’s “Laced~Unlaced”

Considering the fact that many casual listeners, and even fans, of Emilie Autumn often criticise her vocals as somewhat off putting and can come across a bit trite, the Laced/Unlaced (2007) double disc album must be a dream come true.  This album is completely devoid of vocals, and focuses only on Autumn’s superior skills on the violin and her production wizardry.

Prolific and generous as always with her material, there are twenty-two tracks on this album. They come in two discs. The first disc is simply a re-release of the extremely rare first album of her On A Day… only, it has five unnamed live bonus tracks (though I name them below). This first disc is purely classical, based around her violin, most of which are compositions by well known composers such as Bach. Five of the tracks are her own compositions which sound very much like they go hand in hand with the other timeless classics on the album. These tracks were recorded when she was merely seventeen years old and showcases what a young talent she was.  Autumn throws her own arrangement and interpretation into the pieces. Whilst she plays the baroque violin with charm and style, she is backed up with her distinctive other sounds of the lute, harpsichord and the baroque cello – just to make sure you get the full Emilie Autumn experience. She is distinctive, even with pieces that have been played by so many others.

A look at the booklet for the Limited Edition of Laced/Unlaced

Two of the twenty pages from the booklet in the Limited Edition of Laced/Unlaced

The first disc was recorded in 1997. So ten years on, what does the new disc, recorded in 2007, have to offer that is different from her first? Out with the old, in with the new. Emilie abandons the baroque violin in exchange for the electric violin. This time round, everything you hear on this disc is down to Emilie, she plays all of the instruments (including that distinctive harpsichord she is so well known for) and produced and composed the disc single handedly. I may be bold in saying, this is a disc that you have heard nothing like before. Genius in composition and flawless in their execution, Emilie delivers a sound to excite the mind. It opens with ‘Unlaced’ which was a sampler for this album on her last EP which is dark, brooding and atmospheric. The albums continues in the same vein, there are no weepy violin solos here. All packed with energy; some dark, and some just plain bouncy such as ‘A Cure?’ ‘Face The Wall’ is probably the most fascinating piece on here as it is solo electric violin and is the demonstration of Emilie’s refreshing technique with the violin.

Both discs take some listening in order to appreciate the talent on display here. Some tracks may immediately jump out, whilst some are subtle.  If you love the violin, then there should be nothing stopping you here, as this is a new fascinating way for it to be heard.

The Limited Edition has the discs contained in a hardback book like cover, with a generous amount of artwork, and most notably, has the sheet music for the ‘Unlaced’ track.  There were only 2000 copies of this edition, which has sold out since.  Luckily the album has been re-released in a jewel case edition which is still readily available.

The Limited Edition Book Edition of Laced/Unlaced. This edition is now a rarity and can only be found on trading sites like eBay.

Disc One:
1. La Folia
2. Recercada
3. Largo
4. Allegro
5. Adagio
6. Tambourin
7. Willow
8. Revelry
9. On A Day…
10. Prologue (Live)
11. Sonata for Violin & Basso Continuo (Live)
12. Chaconne (Live)
13. La Folia (Live)
14. Epilogue (Live)

Disc Two:
1. Unlaced
2. Manic Depression
3. Leech Jar
4. A Strange Device
5. A Cure?
6. Syringe
7. Cold
8. Face The Wall

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