Sunday, June 19, 2011
Emmy the Great Virtue. Dinosaur Sex. It is meant to rain this evening. I am very excited for the rain. Emmy the Great is possibly music to be best listened to during inclement weather. It's delicate but tense, fragile but filling, and really the closest comparison I can make on the first track is Moose. Yes, Moose! The music, at least, it has that same polish, that same elegance and perfection that was present on those records where Moose was derided for being too too pretty. I often complain about things being far too pretty. Actually, I don't. "and dinosaur sex led to nothing", hmmm...Pram once sang about transparent dinosaurs. Emmy wrote this under the influence of heartache, apparently, I don't receive the press releases but I have seen a few reviews of the record already and her fiance departed for the lord. Which? I am not certain if it was Jesus or Allah or Gaia. Is there not room in one's life for religion and love and marriage and happiness? I was recently reading that Annie from Elastica is exceedingly religious now as well. Perhaps Annie was engaged to Emmy? That would have made for interesting pop music, surely. I would not leave my love for Jesus or Allah or Gaia. I haven't been in love for a very long time. I haven't walked in the rain with someone I love for a very long time. I saw a y-jack for headphones yesterday while I was perusing the aisles at Best Buy and I thought of words I had exchanged where discussions turned to sharing a y-jack and listening to music on headphones together. It seemed romantic, it was silly. Second track, not very Moose-like. She's a folkie. Somewhat traditional. She is being handsomely praised for this album in some quarters. Hmm...I think maybe I enjoyed the first one more. Glamourous backing vocals, professional, the words could be clever. I should listen. But real music reviewers will cover the lyrics. Why is it that they focus so much on the lyrics? I suppose it is easier to dissect their meaning to interject subtext and inferences where none exist than to misinterpret so freely a guitar strum or drum fill. "And when the drum fill comes in now he's making a statement on the NLRB's decision to not allow Boeing to flee the union utopia for the backwater of South Carolina". My parents live in South Carolina, they were meant to be first on the lot to purchase a dreamliner from Boeing when they actually finished one. Now where will they buy their jumbo jet? China, exactly! Third track, oh this has started off very nice. There is a bit of 10000 Maniacs in her. I love 10000 Maniacs, or at least their first two records. The songs may be too long here. Because the pleasing introduction hung about for a bit too long and now the chorus is a bit understated and dull. Yes, the first record was more charming. She's older now, she's been told she's charming and clever and wonderful and beautiful and intelligent. Surely she is. But it isn't good to hear such things. I tend to avoid people when they are going to compliment me. I tend to delete my blog when I am aware that people are reading it. I tend to disappear. The chorus isn't unlovely, it's just a bit mundane and the Moose-y echoey guitar strum has returned and is she a fan of Moose? Have they granted her permission? I hope so, but given the choice of course we'd rather have a Moose album. Next track, more spartan seeming folk, words coming frantically, it's kinda ok, oh, now it is very nice, triangles, mentions of the rapture, pretty. She mentioned religion a fair amount on the first record. I had a discussion with my parents about religion and accused my father of only toting his bible when he became ill. He admitted to it. But I think my father has a hidden complexity and depth that he will not reveal to anyone. I often believe that I am not at all similar to him because he is outgoing and friendly to strangers and I shrink in comparisons and he has blonde hair and blue eyes and I am darkly complected and my oldest brother looks now exactly as my father did 30 years ago and I look exactly like my mother did 30 years ago. I have wicked right handed slapshot from the slot and my father has a surgical left-handed wrist shot from the top of the circle. This one is circularly rhythmic and complex. It may not be complex. This record may be better than the first one. it has been ages since i have listened to the first one. Let's be honest. I'd rather listen to the 10000 Maniacs. It's her voice, it's uninteresting. It's not excessively petty, it isn't gut wrenching, it isn't ethereal. She's meaty. But she's pork steak. This is rudimentary folk music at the moment, Cassandra. She's got more depth in her being, surely. These could be profound statements but honestly the words don't intrigue me, I hear a lot of mundane expressions all strung in a row. "what use is love if it always passes?". I'm uncertain. "what use is life to those who are not living?" that's sub-Chris Martin. why is this being so deeply praised then? Unknown. I do enjoy this record. next track, high hat, they're giving me the high hat. She isn't very old. She's older than Alessi's Ark. She's less interesting. Is it because Alessi writes her material more naturally, expelling whatever it is that comes into her art while Emmy means to be interesting? Are pop lyrics meant to be interesting? I read an interview with Robert Scott and he had a brilliant attitude that he writes lyrics about anything he wants and so his absurdity is organic and charming. Emmy had an agenda, seemingly, we hark back to Jesus and perhaps she is railing against the void? it is a timid wail, if thus, but it could be that she's trying to answer her own questions. it doesn't appear to be all that interesting actually. It is like when bands attempt to build bombast and it falls flat see A Northern Soul when really they should just let things come out and present themselves as whatever they are see A Storm in Heaven. This is a dirge, it's dull. The music is dull, her voice is dull. I am being too unkind. It may be my state of mind, I've just watched some dreadful adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray with Colin Firth and it has made me deeply unhappy. it's an amazing novel, we all agree, but there is a psychological torment to accompany the hedonism but in the movie it is overwhelmed, the senses indulge in the flesh and the soul of the movie disappears. There isn't any hedonism on display here. it's a suburban existence. She may live in the big city but it is thrift stares on tree lined avenues and beach access and green belts. I don't feel it is her life lived. i shouldn't have discovered the back story, this is semi-jaunty but it's dull. That is the operative word. It is lovely but isn't near lovely enough to be not compelling. Now is the fall away, the climax, I am not intrigued. There are still 3 more tracks. The songs are far too long. This is brilliantly constructed. I am far too unkind. I hope it isn't about Sylvia Plath. Is it? "there is a country made of telegrams and tail coats and no one to grieve for it", huh? Aren't folk songs meant to be informative? She is an imitation, her music a six-time photocopied facsimile. She'll be on the Brits performing this year, surely. Do I lament her professionalism? No. Perhaps. No. Yes? It's just so mannered and held within this narrow range of emotion and intensity. Does she get angry? I would like to hear her anger on tape. This is all so dear and harmless, her diary pages with silhouettes of care bears and ten speed bicycles. I want mutations and pandemics. Or actually more of how it is now, it's pop music, she isn't so concerned with exposition and just singing rather nicely at the top of her range and there are chiming guitar chords and now pianos and percussion and it is genius. Which song is this? Exit Night/Julia's Theme. I haven't idea who is meant to be Julia and the beginning was k-rub but it finished very nicely. Well done Emmy! My opinion means so very little. next, a quiet one, hey she does have some range. Why has she not allowed it to escape more freely until now? Oh, this is the same song, this must be Julia's bit. Excellent! It had a bit of Monica Queen in it. She is rather a good songwriter I think, she isn't much of a performer. Next track, country-ish, travelogue, cliche cliche cliche, blah blah blah, I am being lazy. If Cortney Tidwell was singing this it might be rather good. But Cortney is buffing wood floors with Kurt Wagner somewhere else. I keep wishing that other people sang other people's songs. There are possibly more good songwriters than performers especially in indie. These are wonderful songs, but she can't deliver on their promise. This has a bit of Paula Frazer in it as well. It has ben many years since I saw Paula play live. I can still recall it vividly because it has a visceral impact because of the depth of her performance. It wasn't the turn of phrase. It is the fact that I am convinced by Paula Frazer or Cortney Tidwell or even Alessi's Ark because they have a unique means of expressing themselves. Emmy does not, she oculd be mistaken for anyone on the Indietracks stage. Her songs shine. She's a lilac or a peony when all we long for is a Dendrobium. Last track, Trellick Tower, piano and voice, it's the same as most of what has already come to pass. The lyrics seem to address her situation quite literally. Kristin Hersh it is not. Hmmm...I think I need to listen to the first record once again. Do I love the first record? I thought I did. I am having doubts.