3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
From start to finish, fragrant lyricism with accomplished capacity to charm: a song-crafting exposé worth every penny,
This review is from: House of Cards (MP3 Download)
'House of Cards' platforms Emily Baker as an exceptional contemporary songwriter, mixing the familiar with a depth of musicality and competence normally reserved for those much further on in their career.
As a debut it captures the power and presence of her live performance without losing the moments of delicacy and intimacy that allow these songs to be stripped bare of their studio arrangements without losing any of their integrity. Particular highlights are the driving title track 'House of Cards', fusing familiar Americana with a waft of British lyricism that easily achieves the cross over and would appeal to pallets on both sides of the Atlantic; 'Hit and Run' shows a genuine understanding for the crafting of an A1 ballad with simplicity in message and melody delivering an instant 'one listen' singalong worth pushing repeat on for a good half hour.
'Don't Look Down' covers off folk/rock with panache and with the addition of 'Never Thought I'd' to the end of the record, the gap between her album production values and her live performance is bridged to give the listener a taste of how much stripping back this collection can take without losing its charm.
The vocal performance takes you though shades of Sheryl Crow and Annie Lennox whilst having an inherent flavour of the narrative honesty of a subdued feminine Damon Albarn, a purposeful solemnity that resonates in the chest but defaults to uplifting rather than melancholy. Her characteristic vocal style is enriched by a tendency towards warm close harmony that leaves the listener in no doubt that the lyric is to be heard and digested, at no point an accidental consequence of the desire to make music in the author.
This is just a great album; rich melodies, poetic lyricism, track by track consistency - all well produced to capture the spirit of the artist's performance persona: wit, warmth and inviting the journeyman in each of us the opportunity to hitch a ride for 45 mins on a the first carriage to somewhere.
Buy this, absorb it, sing along to it and anticipate what comes next. Emily Baker has clearly more commentary on life left to capture and with this 'House of Cards' she's getting ready....