Emilie Autumn’s “A Bit O’ This and That”
This album is exactly what it says it is. Not a complete album in the ordinary sense, but a collection of b-sides, remixes, live recordings, and random things Emilie Autumn recorded on a whim on a kitchen floor. Many of the songs are low quality due to the way they were recorded (not in a recording studio, put it that way). There are no songs here in the Opheliac style.
Many songs sound like cut songs from Enchant and there are two remixes from the Enchant album. She has done a universally terrible remix of ‘Chambermaid’ (something she confirms in the notes herself) which sounds like a complete mess, and it opens the album. The second song and the second remix is a rather sweeter version than the original ‘What If’ with a celtic edge and it appears to be a different vocal performance. ‘Hollow Like My Soul’ and ‘I Don’t Care Much’ are jazzy reject songs from Enchant. ‘I Know It’s Over’, ‘All My Loving’ (a Beatles cover) and ‘With Every Passing Day’ all have very poor recording quality.
Elsewhere we have the comical rendition of ‘The Star Sprangled Banner’ which she attempts to sing in her unique way. It’s funny, but also a bit cringe worthy. In the notes she said she recorded it to show people that it was a bad idea to ask her to sing the anthem live. There are two live violin recordings of ‘Sonata in D Minor’ and ‘Ancient Grounds’. There is a harpsichord instrumental of the classic ‘Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life’. The song which would probably make most people want to buy this album is the single she released in 2001 which is randomly squeezed in called ‘By The Sword’ which is a poppy, rocky kind of song with a punch. For me, however, there are only two songs on here that are worth listening to, and that’s the ballad ‘Find Me A Man’ and the Shakespeare inspired ‘O Mistress Mine’ which is a song that was originally going to be on a Shakespeare album she was working on, but scraped. Lastly, there is the song ‘Miss Lucy Had Some Leeches’ which is three songs, the first being an acapella of a children’s playground game (like ‘Oranges and Lemons’ for example), a second song comes on which is short and sweet, and the third song has no music, just some very eerie/fightening noises. Her vocals are tampered with and layered.
The packaging is exactly the same as the Enchant packaging that has been released along with this. It comes as a normal CD sized book with a thin card board sleeve that covers it. Inside you have several pages without photos and artwork, just Emilie penning notes on each song as to why she recorded it and what she thinks of it, which is a cute addition to it all.
As one can expect with such albums, it doesn’t carry much substance but there is the odd song that is worth listening to. Here is the tracklisting in its entirety:
1. Chambermaid (Space Mix)
2. What If (Celtic Mix)
3. Hollow Like My Soul
4. By The Sword
5. I Don’t Care Much
6. I Know It’s Over
7. Find Me A Man
8. O Mistress Mine
9. The Star Sprangled Banner
10. All My Loving
11. Sonata in D Minor
12. Ancient Grounds
13. Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life
14. With Every Passing Day
15. Miss Lucy Had Some Leeches
Over all, I think this is a CD that only die-hard fans should buy. Casual buyers will not find much to appreciate here, and even avid fans may find it difficult to appreciate too.