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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thing of Beauty
One of the best of the year.Stars of the lid after a couple of expressos and a spring walk in a bluebell wood!
Published on 14 Jan. 2011 by Mr. C. Shephard

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1 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 80's Electro revisited is not a valid artistic statement.
I've got a bunch of releases by this band including a Tour Only cassette so I jumped at the chance of picking this up when i saw it in a store.

After one side I turned it off and put it on eBay. I turned a profit which took away some of the pain.

This album seems to have been dreamt up based on a notion that revisiting 80's electro and mixing in a...
Published on 21 Feb. 2011 by E. Veldon


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thing of Beauty, 14 Jan. 2011
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One of the best of the year.Stars of the lid after a couple of expressos and a spring walk in a bluebell wood!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely stuff, 14 Oct. 2010
By 
I can't wax lyrical in the mode of my co reviewer above nor after he has done so eloquently need I.
This is a beautiful album to get way lost in. Its prog but don't let that put you off one bit.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish you were here..., 24 May 2010
After a clutch of seriously stellar releases it feels like Emeralds are hitting the ground running with this truly outstanding LP. Gone are the sprawling jams of old and more bite-size tunes (yes, TUNES! In great big capital letters!) are the order of the day. Euphoria is the key word here. This is big heart-swell music with synth lines and washes that can't fail to make you grin like your face is fit to split.

The opener 'Candy Shoppe' is just that - a layered confectionary of colour and sweetness making you salivate at the prospect of a whole album this good. The burbling Cycle of Abuse then ushers in the wonderful Double Helix which sounds like a missing Giallo soundtrack under-pinned by gorgeous, subtle guitar motifs. The longer centre piece Genetic brings in a more stately sound with barreling synth and vocals somewhere in the hinterland between Fairlight and choral.

The scientific titles on this LP and the image of an emerald with its multi-faceted form is telling, reflecting beams in tangents, making the synapses in your head fizz and crackle with possibilities. But this is miles away from the cold, pristine surfaces of Oneohtrix Point Never. The warmth exuded by Goes By feels natural and sun-kissed. The title track enters John Carpenter territory with images of Snake Plissken being chased down by ravenous mutants dissipating into chiming arpeggios.
The album then steps into a more reflective period with Summerdata and Shade. Yes, this is head music but with a whole lot of heart and definitely not content to drift in the background.

It Doesn't Arrive opens with a superb clattering, phasing effect like classic Detroit, shifting shape with delicate guitar lines conjuring a melancholic, wistful haze. The penultimate Now You See Me is almost painfully gorgeous in the tradition of the best ear-worm pop music and the closing Access Granted implores you to press repeat on the CD player/ flip the vinyl as it twinkles away.
I make no apology for gushing about this band and this superb evolution into a more accessible prospect. This is powerful, affecting stuff. Don't think twice.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emeralds - Produce a polished jewel, 20 Dec. 2010
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Red on Black - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Does It Look Like I'm Here? [VINYL] (Vinyl)
End of year lists can be a mixture of the generally laughable (Rolling Stone). They can be outrageous with last years Q top 50 seeing albums by Mika beating the brilliant Low Anthem and Richard Hawley while Cheryl Cole topped Bob Dylan's excellent "Together through life" (although to be fair Qs 2010 list is excellent). Then there are lists which are frankly intriguing not least of these is from the excellent "Drowned in Sound" which just about mops up the best music around and tips a nod to some exciting new artists who deserve wider recognition. It is however a bit of a surprise to find "Does It Look Like I'm Here"? by Emeralds at the top of the DIS list not least since this a instrumental album by a US band out of Cleveland, Ohio whose major characteristic thus far in terms of those horrible labels we use, would be to see the words "experimental" and "drone" figure prominently against their music. In candour I have no idea of the bands previous pedigree all I know is that "Does It Look Like I'm Here" is a thing of shimmering beauty, ecstatic high points and grandiose ambition. Some reviewers have compared the album to Pink Floyd's "Wish you were here" which is understandable although not strictly accurate, you could equally conjure up the names of Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Secret Machines, Four Tet, 65daysofstatic and even Balearic ambiance. The long and short of it is that describing this music is like trying to balance on mercury, it shifts shape and dances around with huge collages of synths and for good measure manages in its ranks of 12 songs to include a song that sounds like a folk waltz which could have appeared on Tubular Bells; check out the stunning "Now you see me".

Opener "Candy Shoppe" sets the tone for the album its starts of with a gentle harp like sound, building to a huge looping synth cacophony which by 2.30 breaks into a wall of sound which Kraftwerk would be proud of and a melody that is genuinely uplifting and the perfect soundtrack to watch the snow falling outside the window. Unsurprisingly "Double Helix" has been subject to various mixes across the internet and it is a sharp three minutes plus of recurring hot ambience which has the words "film soundtrack" plastered over it. The centre piece of the album is the huge 12 minute plus "Genetic". It has those huge sound proportions and dimensions that 65daysofstatic were able to capture in the more dance orientated "Tiger girl" but is equally enthralling building from one huge climax to another. My personal favourite however is "Shade" which does sound like an huge cathedral organ has been superimposed over tape loop, think "Intervention" by Arcade Fire but only bigger. Finally "Access Granted" returns us to the earlier reflection of "Now you see me" with an acoustic guitar playing out over a slow synth full of haunting melody and depth.

Unlike Drowned in Sound this reviewer cant deem it to be the album of 2010 in what has been a very good year for great records. But let us not downplay the wonders on display in "Does It Look Like I'm Here"? since this is mighty piece of recorded art. While Mr Spencer Grady the BBC reviewer of this album might get a spot in pseuds corner for his description of it as "swathed in sheer luminescent pools of joyous, amorphous analogue and crowned by diaphanous shards of brightly lit neon nimbus" one would hope that this is slightly tongue in cheek and after listening to this album again he's probably right. This band have recorded a polished jewel here and while with diamonds, you are primarily concerned with clarity, with Emeralds you are primarily concerned with colour. The many shades of music throughout confirm this with sounds that are both cinematic and challenging in equal measure. Try it for size.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Set the controls............., 11 Jun. 2011
Lets not talk about who they sound like and the obvious reference points. As a sound, it is big and bold. The music takes you up and just keeps building. Layers of sound and a sense of absolute confidence put this head and shoulders above the rest of the pack. Editions Mego have an absolute gem here and this only adds to an impressive roster.Buy it on vinyl for the real deal.It gives the music the space and depth it deserves.Stunning.
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1 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 80's Electro revisited is not a valid artistic statement., 21 Feb. 2011
By 
I've got a bunch of releases by this band including a Tour Only cassette so I jumped at the chance of picking this up when i saw it in a store.

After one side I turned it off and put it on eBay. I turned a profit which took away some of the pain.

This album seems to have been dreamt up based on a notion that revisiting 80's electro and mixing in a little bit of prog (there are no 20 minute songs here - more's the pity) is somehow a valid artistic statement indeed a revolutionary one. Well it's not.

Don't bother - buy some of the original stuff rather than this reheated rubbish.
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Does It Look Like I'm Here? [VINYL]
Does It Look Like I'm Here? [VINYL] by Emeralds (Vinyl - 2010)
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