Friday, April 1, 2011

Music Review: Emery - We Do What We Want

I will admit, when I first heard this CD I dismissed it as not being as good as their last. I am not sure if it was high expectations or the fact their second vocalist, Devin Shelton, left but I had some preconceived notions about this album. The fact Emery could use their two singers, switch off, and harmonize without me being able to hear the difference between the two was amazing. It was honestly one of the best parts of the band for me. Needless to say, even with Devin gone, Emery carries on with style. This album, after a few listens, is as good as anything they have ever put out. It is a perfect combination of everything they have done right from their past releases. The slower tempo songs from The Question, the hard edginess from While Broken Hearts Prevail, the soaring vocals from The Weaks End, and even the quirkiness from my I'm Only a Man. Emery has done it AGAIN!

Emery- We Do What We Want
The album starts off hard with The Cheval Glass. Right from the start it is obvious the band has gone a little more hard rock with their sound. They of course pull it off. Not all the songs are like this though. A few have more of a pop-rock type sound to them, while the last two are actually much slower songs. The vocals are fantastic. Toby has stepped up his game with the screaming, delivering some of the most intense screams of any Emery album. Josh has also done a good job picking up some vocal duties. The dual layered vocals are present but they are definitely weaker then with Devin. Honestly after about three listens you forget about that and accept the new Emery. I mean hey, the vocals are still better then most bands anyways.

The guitars are good, but so long are the random quirky guitar duals that were so prevalent in While Broken Hearts Prevail. The keyboard and drums do plenty to make up anything lost with Devin's departure. The keys as always help change the moods of the songs right when they need to. The drumming is fantastic and frantic. Actually the songs are pretty frantic. Every song starts off in one direction and then changes directions....... multiple times. This makes repeat listens extremely enjoyable. Even after twenty spins I cannot predict where these songs are heading.

The lyrics as always are top notch. Emery delivers some of their most emotional and mature lyrics to date, which says a lot. Lyrics have always been a strong point for the band. With my personal favorite song, The Curse of Perfect Days, Toby sings about getting old and loosing a loved one. My girlfriend (who hates any kind of screaming in music) cried during the song. The lyrics are powerful. The last two slow songs are both bursting with emotion. The first of the two, I Never Got to See the West Coast, is about suicide, plain and simple. No metaphors, no secrets, it is about suicide. It is the best song on the subject matter sense Blink-182's Adam's Song in my opinion. The last, Fix Me, is actually one of the most spiritual songs Emery has ever written. It provided a nice surprise and I was happy to see they are fully capable of writing a pseudo-worship song.

Rating 5/5 "It's the Bee's Knees"

After I repeated listens I am in love with this album. There is not a bad song on it. Emery has now shown they can adapt to major change. It is the most diverse album musically for the band, but it is still all Emery. Devin, you will be missed but I am so excited to see where this iteration of Emery goes next.

If you have not heard any of Emery's music, do it now. They have not released a bad album to date.

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