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4.6 out of 5 stars
121
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 28 April 2014
This album from Embrace is unlike anything you might have heard from the band. It's packed with great synth lead songs and rumbling guitars. Oh and did I mention Mike Heaton's drums, which explode from the speakers to grab your attention.

My personal favourite's are 'Quarters', a fast-paced, synth-led song that's had me dancing like a loon since the album arrived on my doorstep. Opener 'Protection' has a really catchy chorus and lyrics that cut deep. First single 'Refugees' is another fine example of how the band have changed direction, with Rik's falsetto leading the way.

The final track 'A Thief on my Island' brings the album to a close with a rhythmic blast of synths overlayed first by Danny's vocal and then a massive rif from Rik's guitar. Amazing on record and even more powerful in it's longer form when seen live. Don't miss this album and the upcoming tour.
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on 30 April 2014
I have always been a fan of various types of music, dance, house, disco, indie rock, and many other labels people put on music. this album, comes up on itunes as indie rock, to me it is so much more than that label. It is the embrace lyrics that i have always loved, this new sound and direction from them gives me so much more though.
have been a fan of embrace for a long time, got the album through the post today, put it in the lap top to burn and started listening to it, enjoyed the lyrics and sound but wasnt amazed, then i hooked the speakers up, and oh my oh my oh my what a sound, this brought the album to life, so in depth and involved. like the lyrics say in the song protection The Louder the better. looking forward to listening to this album out driving in the car
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on 28 April 2014
8 years between albums is way too long for any band, when it happens they really need to come back with something special, thankfully on this occasion Embrace have delivered, big time.

Lots on here that sounds kind of familiar, Ballads with balls (At Once, I Run), anthemic chorus' aplenty throughout. In The End sounds like a hit on the 1st listen. But there is so much more her than you'd expect, bass lines that would fit comfortably on any Joy Division/New Order album, echoes of U2, Echo and The Bunnymen but who'd have expected the classic house beats on Quarters or the raw punk vibe of my personal favourite (Post Attack Mechanism).

If you like Embrace of old, there's plenty here for you to love, if you didn't....... give it a go you may just surprise yourself!!!!
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on 28 April 2014
It's been a very well documented 8 years from their last release until this one, did they make the wait worthwhile?

Stupid question really - the new self titled album is a triumph of the highest order with the vast majority of the album simply stunning.

The first 5 tracks are worth 4 stars on their own. Opener Protection is a broody classic already, and used by the band to open their warm up tour dates a couple of months ago. In The End has more than a nod and a wink at New Order but with classic euphoric sing along choruses - the Embrace trademark. The singles that most folk know, Refugees and Follow You Home (both great, both a wee bit different to what you expect from Embrace in very different ways), are separated by I Run which for me is the stand out track on the album. A heart breaking ballad that grows and grows, pulling at the heart strings while implanting an ear worm to ensure it haunts you and delights you in equal measures. It is up there already with the best songs Embrace have ever produced and is actually worth the money for the album on it's own.

For me Quarters is the only misstep on the album but only because of the vocal style of the chorus which is far too Bee Gees for my taste but the rest of the song is solid enough. At Once gets us back into true Embrace territory with a strong ballad with sing out loud chorus - the Embrace trademark and something they do better than anyone else. Self Attack Mechanism sees a harder faster edge while The Devil Looks After His Own is another strong typical Embrace song that would stand out on other albums but only suffers slightly here due to the esteemed company it is keeping.

A Thief On My Island is a stunning finale which in turn makes it a fitting one too. A moody, pulsating beast that growls and grows until we get to a crushing crescendo to bring and end to the proceedings. As suitable closing to the album as Protection is an opening.

If you are unfamiliar with Embrace (?!) then this is as good a place to start as it is easily up there with their best work, if not actually their best (some statement given just how great debut The Good Will Out is). If you like Embrace this will reignite your feelings for their music. If you love Embrace, simply celebrate that they are back. And boy, are they back and then some!
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on 28 April 2014
The band's first release in 8 years. What makes the album really stand out for me is that it's not filled with old style anthems we've always associated with Embrace. Don't get me wrong, those anthems are still there but this is a band that's moved into new directions. You can detect influences new (Killers, Foals) and old (New Order, Joy Division, U2). The album is book-ended by the brilliant 'Protection' and 'A Thief On My Island'. I was lucky enough to see the band's first comeback gig at The Hop in Wakefield last September. Danny introduced six mystery tracks that night because the band didn't want names being posted on Twitter, Facebook etc. These two certainly stuck in my mind. The other was 'Refugees'. If ever an EP was going people's anticipation levels even higher - especially given its other tracks haven't even made the album - this was it. Danny's voice is always subject to unfair criticism. The singing in unison with Richard on 'Follow You Home' just shows how much they compliment each other. 'In The End' and 'At Once' are trademark Embrace. 'Quarters' and 'Self Attack Mechanism' are the two tracks which really show the new synth-direction the band has introduced. Then there's 'The Devil Looks After His Own'. The album was always going to a winner with us long-standing fans (I first saw them in 1997). What it has shown is the guys have not rested on any laurels they may have. It's great to have them back!
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on 28 April 2014
As a fan of the 'old Embrace' I agree that this new album has certainly taken a different direction from what we are used to, but what a direction to take!! Echo's of New Order and U2 ebb into the new style of music we are now hearing. Embrace has always been about the music and the passion that comes across in each song is clear. There isn't a song I want to skip and I've not been able to say that for a very long time about any album. Thief is my favourite, but all the others are right up there with it. It's great to have the boys back and it has most definitely been worth the eight year wait!
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on 28 April 2014
Sometimes you have to listen to an album a few times to really get a feel for the new songs, but with the new Embrace album they all grabbed me on the first listen. It's first class stuff! Lyrically, musically and production wise. Superb. There is a good variety of styles on the new album, but they all work well alongside each other. I can't stop listening to it! Album of the year for me so far. The boys may have been away for eight years, but my god they have used that time well! Love it.
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on 28 April 2014
After 8 years away, Embrace have returned with this album and it is simply stunning. Whereas some bands might have tried to stick to the blueprint that made them famous to make sure their album sells, 'Embrace' is the work of a band who are clearly now in the place of wanting to just make great music rather than compromise just so they can get massive radio play or guarantee a run at The 02.

The album opens with Protection, sounding distinctly like Embrace of old but with added electronic sounds in the mix. A real attention grabber and a track which sets the tone for what follows. 'In The End' continues to make the listener sit up and re-evaluate whatever their preconceived ideas about Embrace are before comeback single 'Refugees' comes in to hammer home the point that there is no phoning it in or taking a lazy route here. This band are progressing and producing something that sounds relevant and fresh.

'I Run' is fantastic, a wonderful melody and heartfelt lyrics making it an instant future classic, Follow You Home's chorus destined to be sung along to by thousands at gigs and football stadiums around the country. Quarters is another double-take moment. If you ever wondered what disco-Embrace would sound like and whether falsetto would be good, here is your answer. 'At Once''s guitar work reminiscent of early U2 complements another stunning lyrical achievement and emotional vocal performance before the 'Self Attack Mechanism' and 'The Devil Looks After His Own' come next in a double frenzy of in your face rock. Album closer 'A Thief On My Island' is perhaps the most apt final track on an album in recent years, confirming this collection of songs has not been slung together but crafted together with the utmost care. A six minute masterpiece, 'Thief' is the perfect blend of everything that has gone before. Lyrics, electronics, piano, bass, drums and guitars all playing their part as if to prove how vital each aspect is in creating the Embrace sound.

So has the eight years been worth the wait? Absolutely, and then some. 'Embrace' is worth anyone's time and attention and it really is great to have them back. There is no filler here and track adds something to the collection.

Let's not wait another eight years before another album though...
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on 28 April 2014
Embrace have done another comeback!
The last one was in 2004 after 4 years away with the stomping Out of Nothing and the gift from Coldplay which boosted publicity. This time they took 8 years away and didn't need any help from anyone! They wanted to return only if they could better their number 1 debut album. For me, they have not only bettered that album but all albums of the last 2-3 years aswell. AM (arctic monkeys) and El Camino (black keys) are great albums but both have a couple of weaker tracks. This doesn't! I Run and At Once are familiar embrace territory but done with heart breaking excellence with truly emotive vocals that cannot be taught. Quarters and Self Attack Mechanism are my favourites as they show a band who are not afraid to do what they want rather than what a record company expect, they are surprising, direct and driven anthems shorn of any flabbiness embrace have occasionally been guilty of in the past. This is a brilliant album that people need in their lives!
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on 6 May 2014
Ever since hearing "Wonder" way back in 2001, Embrace have had me hooked. It's been, as you're probably no doubt aware by now, eight long years since their last album. And to say this latest offering was greatly anticipated would be an understatement. A massive one. Thankfully they have not disappointed.

They've created the perfect melange of old and new, which makes for a thrilling roller coaster of familiarity and freshness. There are glimpses of classic Embrace in "Protection", "At Once" and "In The End". These are tempered with hints of their new direction; electornica; hard rock; techno. See "Quarters" "The Devil Looks After His Own" and "Self Attack Mechanism" for further details.

It's an album, I feel, that will prove their credentials as one of Britain's best Indie bands of the past two decades, and hopefully garner them legions more fans in the process.

10/10.
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