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This review is from: Just to Feel Anything (Audio CD)
There seems to have been a fair amount of negativity aimed at Emeralds' new LP - "it's not recognizably the same Emeralds who recorded for Hanson Records, there's (gasp!) a drum machine on it, it's too smooth" etc.
Well, the answer's 'yes' to all of these but that isn't such a bad thing. This particular stylistic diversion isn't a huge leap from the superb Does It Look Like I'm Here? but its tunes are noticeably more linear with crystal sharp edges. Initially the insistent pulse and chatter of a drum machine comes as a shock but provides a welcome addition to their sound. The LP as a whole could almost serve as a soundtrack to an imaginary sequel to 'Drive' - all brooding synths and keening guitar lines, as the neon landscape flits past.
The highlight for me is the closing track 'Search For Me In The Wasteland' which has a strong Popul Vuh synth-folk (!) vibe.
So yes, different but this isn't a negative. It's no betrayal of some lofty idea of underground comradeship, it just shows an equal fondness for emotive Jan Hammer synths and Michael Mann films as for the more psychedelic drone of the past. Maybe the press would've been kinder if it was released under a different name...