Emarosa – Emarosa
Release Date: June 29, 2010
Record Label: Rise
We get it. You may not like Jonny Craig. You may hate his tweets or his attitude. Whatever issue you may have is something you’ll just have to get over, cause the Emarosa lead vocalist isn’t going away any time soon. After reviving Emarosa from scene-core purgatory with their ferocious full-length debut, Relativity, Craig kept himself busy by releasing his R&B-inspired solo debut as well as being one-third of the vocal assault on Isles & Glaciers debut EP. So, yeah, the dude has been keeping his name (and golden voice) in the news. And with his band’s self-titled effort, he’s bound to stick around a little longer, much to the chagrin of some AP.net users.
The impressive opener, “A Toast to the Future Kids!,” is an example of Emarosa at their finest. The chorus is explosive, serving as the perfect backdrop to Craig’s improved use of melody. “Pretend.Relive.Regret” shows that Craig doesn’t need to always rely on his piercing vocals, as he displays some of his most powerful work here. “Share the Sunshine Young Blood” is a striking number featuring some nice guitar noodling from Jonas Ladekjaer and ER White.
You hear the improve musicianship in the dark crash of “Truth Hurts While Laying on Your Back,” while the slow build-up of “The Game Played Right” gives each member a chance to shine. Some people may suggest that the musicianship has taken a back seat to Craig’s voice, but I don’t see it like that. Rather the band improved their songwriting, put more structure in each song, tightened up the rhythm section, and created a more fluid and concise album. Craig’s voice is so massive that it’ll overpower almost anything, but on Relativity it seemed his voice was fighting with the proggy nature of the music. On Emarosa, they complement each other, as fans of Circa Survive’s Blue Sky Noise will definitely feel this.
That’s not to say that Emarosa doesn’t bring it. “Broken vs. the Way We Were Born” brings the intensity, while “I Still Feel Her Pt. 4” brings the heaviness. Up to this point, breakdowns and screaming have been absent on this disc, but that all changes as Craig continues to be all over this girl with a resounding breakdown backing up his charged-up screams. Because this is the only showing of screaming, it makes the impact of the song that much greater.
One flaw of the record is the band follows the soft verses-loud chorus formula a little too much, resulting in some tracks blending together, but for the most part these tracks stand on their own and are some of the best work in Emarosa’s discography. Jonny Craig’s vocals are still the main event here and they are his strongest ever, thanks to some tweaking and refinement. Emarosa has released one of the best albums from this sub-genre, and it’ll be hard for their peers to match this. So, if the only reason you aren’t checking this album out is because of your dislike of Jonny Craig, then that’s too bad. You’ll be missing out on one of 2010’s better releases.
Great review, as always. Sort of makes me think his vocal work on this album is better than his previous releases.... as in, less repetitive vocal runs all over every song, and some melodies thrown in. I'll probably check this album out. I'd be lying if I said I'm not a fan of Jonny Craig's voice... I'm just not a huge fan of what he does with it.
It's a great review but the album is just not good...
Musically the album is better than Relativity. The production is better than Kris Crummet. But as much as I like Jonny's vocals, they got boring. My fav track is "We Are Life", I love that hook. I feel Jonny's vocals embrace more R&B which I dig, but he got boring on most tracks.