Every now and again, a record emerges in the shellshocked, foxhole-filled musical landscape in which we live that reminds me of why I love music as much as I do. You get old. You get jaded. You get burnt out. And you just wonder, "When's that feeling going to come back?"
This album brought that feeling back to me. Maybe timing is everything, but God, it's like this record was specifically meant for this point in my life.
Enough said. Here are my thoughts on Charlie Simpson's debut solo album, Young Pilgrim.
And I'm wondering what you would like to see me review. It could be an album that just came out, or an album from a year or two, or more ago. I've been meaning to get back to writing reviews and thought it might be fun to get some public opinion involved. The only one I'm sure that I will be writing is Lydia's Illuminate. I don't know why I haven't already written one for that album, it definitely deserves the treatment.
Tate did one of those big track by track initial impression blogs awhile back, so I figured I would do the same with the new Emery release. There's not a whole lot to say, so let's get to the songs....
I like the intro to Rock N Rule. That is, until you get a random blare of what seems to be a broken bugle. The crashing introduction and guitar riff is awesome until all flow is disrupted by that random sound bit. The vocals don’t seem to be mixed high enough, as the guitars clash with them, and there is next to no clarity. Once again, the fast guitar riff, one might call it almost swanky, sounds great. Thankfully this time there is no broken horned instrument. The screaming and gang vocals sounds surprisingly good, and is the most classic Emery element thus far. The song ends much better than it began.
The Party Song! Awhile back I said this should have been an Andrew W.K. b-side. I stand by this statement. Not many bands can pull off lyrics about being at a party, or even using the word party, and I do not believe that Emery is one of those bands. With lyrics such as “Get your party onnnn!” and “You got kicked out of your mother’s house, you stole money from her purse,” I really wonder where the hell these lyrics came from; Maybe an episode of 7th Heaven. Musically, I like this track as well. The sound and structure is great, the lyrics are not.
World Away sounds “lighter” than the previous tracks. It’s not very intense, and almost sounds dance line at some parts. To be honest, this could have been a Maroon 5 song. The lyrics are once again, very simple, and repetitive. Not a bad track, but nothing special.
After The Devil Beats His Wife starts off with a fast mix of vocals and crashing instruments. Once again, the vocals blend in way too much with the music, and aside from the parts that are sung with no music in the background, there is next to no clarity. I have no idea what the lyrics in this song are about. Other than “This is the pain of believing,” I can hardly even remember what he’s said in this song. Not catchy in the least. At 2 and a half minutes into the song, I have lost complete interest, and around 3 minutes in there is a lot of unnecessary screaming. Blah.
Can't Stop The Killer starts off good, with the best lyrics of the album so far. The vocals sound great (this is probably because there is only a light guitar strumming in the background, and you can actually hear them.) The song picks up, the rest of the band joins in, and then the song goes absolutely nowhere. We get some robot-like synthesized vocals, and the build-up is completely killed. Once again, halfway through the song I am completely disinterested. The vocals get louder, the drums get faster, rinse, repeat.
Story About A Man With A Bad Heart sounds the same as the other songs so far. They are singing about going out and having dinner and drinking. I’m not sure when it became cool to sing about menial, everyday occurrences. Another track that has random screaming towards the end. The vocals sound absolutely terrible at the end, kind of like Say Anything, but really, really bad.
WHAT THE HELL AM I LISTENING TO? The intro to Don’t Bore Us, Get To the Chorus is completely atrocious. I have no clue how this is pleasurable to the ears, or who the hell thought it would be a good idea to start off the track with screaming munchkins. There’s some lyrics about high school, and then it turns into a Forever The Sickest Kids song, with electronic drum beats and hand claps. I really like Forever The Sickest Kids. I do not like this song.
What Makes A Man A Man starts off as a slow acoustic song, and gains some dynamics. The song is pretty dull until the end, where the dual vocals finally shine for the first time on this album. Other than that, not that great of a song.
The Movie Song starts off with some more terrible lyrics. This is really turning me off, and I want to listen to something else at this point. This song sounds the same as the earlier songs on the album. There’s a lot of “whoa whoa” going on, and some more random screaming. It kind of sounds like a Mewithoutyou song at some points. I don’t mean that in a good way.
You Think You’re The Nickel Slick (But I Got Your Penny Change) has the worst track title on the album, but sounds alright. It’s one of the least aggravating songs, if that tells you anything. Almost every song on this album is structured exactly the same.
From Crib To Coffin sounds like every other song on this cd. If I wasn't looking at which song was playing, I would swear it was the same song 10 times, or one 50 minute song that sounds the same. It ends with what appears to be the menu music from an NES game. This song is anything but epic. I am now depressed.
I'm gonna go ahead and say it, this album sucks. Emery has been one of my favorite bands for a long, long time. With this release, I’m not sure what to feel. I know bands change, but this is undoubtedly a change for the worse. I think most people are going to hate this album. I think I already do. If I never listened to it again, I don’t think I would be missing anything. Coming from the band who brought us Walls, The Ponytail Parades, and In a Win, Win Situation, this is a very unexpected let down. Check it out and be the judge for yourself. As for me, I’m gonna go get my party on with a bottle of Jack Daniels and try to forget about what I just listened to.
Leave me a comment and let me know what you guys think.