43 of 50 people found the following review helpful
Near Life? You will be.,
This review is from: Out Of Nothing (Audio CD)
There really is no need to Spell It Out for us. "Out Of Nothing" is clearly already verging on the status of a classic, and it's not actually been released yet. The ears that have heard this magnificant record so far have pricked up and listened, and it's finally all coming together for Embrace, the band that just as little as 3 years ago were being begudgeoned by the press, and apparently their fans, for being "out of tune", "out of tunes" and "past it".
They've struggled and strived for a fair time now in the midst of adoring fans and downpouring press. But they have arisen, and this is finally their time. Again.
Out Of Nothing strikes out of nowhere with the first blow. There's nowhere to hide from the fabulous "Ashes" and believe me, you're not even going to try. It pulls you in and you're stuck. This isn't a one off for the album either. You'd think in a world of 'Anthemic Pop' to the tens, the pen would surely be running out by the 4th studio album, but no. These boys just keep on delivering.
"Gravity" isn't as unexpected, it's a ballad, and for Embrace, that's not so unusual. However there's something about this ballad. It's covered and smoothered and oozing with delight. Penned by Coldplay's Chris Martin but given the Embrace stamp until that factor is almost unrecognisable, "Gravity" takes you beyond the belief that Embrace were ever, or could ever be 'past it'.
Stumbling into "Someday" you've already forgotten where you were meant to be when you started listening to Out Of Nothing. You're in the world of something new, something special, and something to sit up and take note of. With it's gospel interludes and it's stunning rises and falls, 'Someday' could be a single, THE single, and if it is the next single, Embrace will no longer be a thing of cult.
"Looking As You Are" is quite possibly the most beautiful song in the world. The stunning vocals, sparse but independently meaningful lyrics, and sentiments in this song simply melt you (me) into nothingness for three short minutes. This song will change the way you look at Embrace, if the first three tracks didn't already.
You've barely recovered from LAYA (abbreviations of song lyrics are readily accepted currency among their fanbase) and you've been thrown headfirst into "Wish 'Em All Away". A definite favourite amongst listeners of Out Of Nothing so far. Perhaps it's something to do with the breif reincarnations of zulu (or is that kiwi) warrier chants of past hovering in the background. Perhaps it's the harmonica, perhaps it's the completely and utterly heartfelt and emotional way in which Danny McNamara lugs out the lyrics til there's no more breath in his already outsung lungs. Perhaps it's just because you're dealing with the heavy uphill slaughter of listening to this album.
The next few tracks are each in their own way, devine. You'll be dragged uphill, downhill, round the ladies chamber and all whilst you're clambering to hang onto yourself in the midst of it all. You're still catching your breath from the get go. But then you hit "Near Life" and you're wondering if this is the same band you've been listening to for the past 8 tracks. It is, I'm certain of it. But it's a question every person is going to ask themselves when this monumental, head turning, brain teasing track enters your ear canal. Can it be Embrace that are pouring out this sluggish, clanging, dreamy track before you? It is, and you're going to listen. You have no choice, because the almost psychadelic tendancy this song is parading infront of you has you grabbed. You've never heard anything like this before. And more than likely, you won't again. It's magical, in the entire sense of the word.
Still mesmorised by "Near Life", the remnants buzzing around in you mind, "Out Of Nothing", the title track saved for last, as it should have been (don't you always save your french fries till then end? Why? Because they're the best bit). Starting out as another Embrace-special ballad, you might start thinking that the best was somewhere else in this set of wonderfully crafted peices of history. But then it kicks in. And so does your pacemaker. It's loud, it's fast, it's unwittingly clever and magnificant like no other. It's Out Of Nothing and it's Embrace.
All you've done is listened to the new Embrace album. But you feel like you've been in the gym for an hour, working out to your most. It's an album that requires your full attention, and believe me, it's going to get it. There's no getting out of that.
Past it? Not even nearly, their journey is just beginning.