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Emmy the Great: Musical Sloth,
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This review is from: First Love - Bonus Edition (Audio CD)
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.