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Emmy The Great – First Love

Very bittersweet, and a wee bit retro, mostly thanks to the lyrics.

This debut album comes after a rather convincing single, ‘We Almost Had A Baby’, by which Emmy The Great (Emma-Lee Moss and friends) proved that her voice was one to remember. Emmy is very much in the tradition of folk-rock singer-songwriters; one of the songs is entitled ‘Dylan’, which sounds like a tribute of sorts, but she also recalls Isobel Campbell or something of Marianne Faithfull (though the album was not produced with as much luxury as Faithfull’s ones). Also, the ghosts of Jeff Buckley and Leonard Cohen are haunting the track ‘First Love’ where it’s all about ‘a broken hallelujah’, which should obviously ring a bell.

The tone of the album is very bittersweet, and a wee bit retro, mostly thanks to the lyrics; melancholic but witty and full of self-mockery. Yet the girl with a guitar sometimes finds herself not far from the pitfall of giving too much importance to the story and not enough to the music. Not that the lyrics should be given less importance, but in some songs, the storytelling gets the upper-hand over anything else and the melody becomes fairly inexistant or irrelevant: ‘On The Museum Island’, about wandering in Berlin, or ‘The Easter Parade’, for instance, are a bit deceiving since they don’t use the vocal capabilities of the frontwoman effectively.

For, and that’s perhaps the most essential thing for a debut, Emmy The Great has a very moving voice, and her songs can be heartrending as well as powerfully girly.

Tags: Emmy The Great, Reviews, Album Reviews

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