on 16 March 2009
Earlier in her career Emmy played with Noah And The Whale and the stint grounded her in pop-folk but she has trumped their radio-friendly but bland attempt hands down with `First Love'.
This is a cadent and largely acoustic album replete with tales of love and loss, strings, piano and acoustics. `We Almost Had A Baby' is a near-danceable, tragic waltz, backed with endearing `oohs' and `aahs'. Neat little couplets pepper the lyrics and Emmy obligingly, if egotistically if we are judge by her name, coos them across the record. The heartfelt and well-executed homage to Leonard Cohen on `First Love' (even sampling lyrics from `Hallelujah') is the unquestionable highlight. `Dylan' falls just on the right side of the annoying / catchy fence and encourages bouts of smiling and toe-tapping consequently.
There's some Laura Marling in here for sure, but there's more of Emmy herself, and it is because she has stamped so much of herself all over the tracks that they succeed. Such an amiable presentation of herself and her song writing is irresistibly charming and will compel her wide-hearted followers to instantly and indefinitely love few others. Emmy has perhaps even introduced some to their first, and last, true love.
on 2 December 2009
I heard "We almost had a baby" a good while ago on the radio and instantly fell in love with it and downloaded it. But it wasn't until I heard Emmy the Great do a live session whilst at Glastonbury that I decided to download the album. There isn't one track that I don't like.
The lyrics are modern and sometimes a bit odd, so their meanings are always immediately obvious, which I think adds to their charm. Some tracks are haunting such as "Absentee", "24" and "On the Museum Island". Others are more upbeat in their tune, though still have a sombre subject, such as "We almost had a baby", "First Love" and "MIA".
My favourites are "24", "MIA", "We almost had a baby", "Edward is Dedward". But as I said, I don't think there are any weak parts. The bonus tracks are all definitely worth the addition.
on 19 February 2010
I stumbled across Emmy the Great's (or Emma-Lee Moss) "First Love" after listening to Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" on youtube - some clever fan had grouped them together on a playlist. I was immediately struck by Emmy herself; her personality seemed plain and honest as did her song writing. The use of instruments on the track and later the lyrics and the story behind it also lived up to these first impressions. Tracks like "24", "Edward Is Deadward", "Bad Things Coming, We Are Safe" and "Two Steps Forward" were painful and accurate accounts of emotion and attachement and "We Almost Had a Baby", "MIA", "City Song" and "Canopies and Drapes" also confirmed by attachment to Emmy's lyrical content of religious doubt, relationship dynamic and childhood memory with a splattering of played down drama. "The Easter Parade" was the last song to really grab my attachement, gradually growing on me as the track wound up to a grabbing conclusion. The other tracks continue in the general mood of catchy guitar based melodies and Moss's sometimes bluntly honest and succinct lyrics. An album most certainly worth a listen, especially for fans of a similiar genre or associated acts; if a bit heavy on the content considering Emmy's style.
on 3 August 2009
I first saw Emmy the Great at Glastonbury ,on the John Peel stage and immediately realised an album purchase was on the cards.The title track was my "song of the festival" this year and I love the album .Emmy is a breath of fresh air in an already very crowded genre .Buy and see for yourself . Love it love it .It only gets four stars because "dark side of the moon " is the only album that gets five !
on 29 November 2011
Background music when studying, when brushing my teeth, when getting ready to go out. Whenever, really.
It's a chilled-out album that you can put on without it distracting you too much; when you want to actually listen to it, the lyrics are so thoughtful and heart-felt that you can't help but put certain songs on repeat.
The Easter Parade and 24 are my particular favourites and I could listen to 24 on repeat all day, just Emmy's unpretentious voice and her acoustic guitar, no extras. What's more, Emmy's voice is not autotuned, which I found refreshing. She also has the type of voice that merges well with basically anyone else's voice, so it's difficult not to find yourself singing along rather happily.
At around a fiver, I was really happy with this album and it looks great propped up on my desk (I've taken the booklet out, so you can see the CD inside, which is nice). Definitely looking to find more music like this!
on 3 November 2010
It's one of those albums (and one of those artists) that if you are lucky enough to stumble across you will listen to it on repeat, go on and on about her to anyone who will listen to you "no, seriously, she's genius". It contains some of the best lyrics of any music of any genre, heartbreaking and (thought I don't know how she does it) funny, things that will stick in your head and your heart.
"Take some time out to resuscitate my soul. Take up smoking and drink carrot juice and grow. Teach the mattress to erase you from its folds. Then dry my eyes and keep on moving til the motion makes me strong, til one day I realise I don't remember that you're gone. We'll be strangers, who were lovers, I'll recover. It's so weird how time goes on"- Canopies and Drapes.
p.s. and I never write reviews.
on 17 March 2009
I went to see Emmy the Great in concert a few weeks back and loved it so much I just had to buy her album. I only wish it had more of her songs (like Gabriel); but it does have a really great the selection. Her voice is so sweet and her lyrics are so earnest. It makes you feel like everything she sings is true. I definitely recommend this one.
(oh, not all the songs copied too well onto my ipod for some reason, though..probably something to do with converting the files from .wma to more "iTunes-happy" files)
Emmy the Great (which is to all practical purposes the writer and singer Emma-Lee Moss) was widely tipped for success in 2007, at the same time as Florence Welch, alongside whom she performed in Lightspeed Champion. While Florence rocketed to stardom, Emmy has pursued much gentler trajectory. To extend the metaphor, where Florence has gone stellar, Emmy is drifting gently over the English countryside in a hot-air balloon. And this is largely because of Emmy's approach to her career: unlike most performers, Emmy doesn't appear to see fame and success as an end in itself, and has been noticeable unhurried in developing her career. Until recently, her website consisted of a photo of her eating a sundae and reading a trashy novel with a picture of a sloth hanging over her head. Emmy doesn't seem to take herself completely seriously, but she has a sharp perception about relationships and emotions and her songs manage to deal with difficult subjects with a wry humour.
A new album is due out in 2011, but First Love is her first full-length CD, and it also has the four tracks of the "Edward is Dedward" EP on the end, which makes it good value. Having the song Edward is Dedward so close to the end doesn't completely do it justice, because it is a little masterpiece about loss, disorientation and coping with grief.
The First Love part of the album is a mixture of polished tracks - such as the singles, First Love and We Almost Had A Baby, and one or two that sound like they were recorded solo in a single take. On the Museum Island sounds almost like an afterthought, but despite its simplicity it has become one of my favourite songs.
First Love has its musical roots in folk. The orchestrations are slight and understated. It's the perceptiveness and honesty of the songwriting that makes First Love a must-have album.
on 13 December 2009
a fantastic album which really stands out in the british folk revival of the 00's. First love has a diversity of songs on it with personal favorites being canopies and drapes, city song and 24.
Very strong songs, a beautiful and individual singing style. All round lovely stuff, always under control to stop it getting either twee or dull. Folky, but with an edge. Some variety of pace, and intruments, to make the songs stand out from one another. Can't think of any reason not to love this.