The true follow up to The Question
Craig | Ca | 06/02/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Lets face it: I'm Only A Man wasn't spectacular. The album let many Emery fans down when it was hyped to be something it wasn't. In all fairness however, writing a worthy follow up to 2005s stunning "The Question" was no easy task. Fast forward four years and Emery have finally accomplished this. Cue...In Shallow Seas We Sail; a worthy follow up and natural progression for a band who's defining moment was revolving around this album.
With the legendary Aaron Sprinkle back on production duties and none other than Emery's own Matt Carter behind the boards, you can be guaranteed that you're in for an excellent album. ...In Shallow Seas We Sail boasts a return to form coupled with a natural musical progression. Fans of "The Question" will be more than pleased when they pick up a copy of this record. Some have described it as "The Question...Part 2." While I wouldn't go as far as saying that, this album does indeed carry specific trademarks from that album.
The vocals on this album are without a doubt where Emery finds their niche. Emery proves yet again that they are the front runners for "best dual vocalists in any rock band." The dual clean vocals are beautifully executed and layered quite nicely. Furthermore, the screams are back and more prominent and powerful than ever. This is quite apparent from the first few seconds of the opening track, "Cutthroat collapse" which lets everyone know that the Emery we all know and love, is back.
The album has a nice ebb and flow with most tracks complimenting each other. Clocking in at just over 40 minutes, the album should leave you satisfied. No filler means more quality songs without filling space for the sake of filling space. This album also boasts a diverse display of songs which are each unlike the next. Truly a great listen from start to finish.
Without a doubt, the albums highlight comes in the form of the title track. This track boasts Aaron Sprinkle dueling vocals with Toby in a moment that I'd be pressed to say is Emery's best yet.
The ONLY reason I give this album 4 stars is because it isn't flawless. Even if it is excellent, it has a few dull moments here and there, hardly enough to detract from all the good.
This album will without a doubt stick out in Emery's diverse discography and be a fan favorite for many years to come.
Excellent Song-Writing, Amazing Vocals
Matthew Robbins | Ohio | 07/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the aspects of being a reviewer I've come to enjoy is the exposure to bands and artists you may have not heard otherwise. Emery will not be new to many of you. They've been with Tooth & Nail since their 2004 release, The Weak's End. They've developed quite a following and have enjoyed a fair amount of critical acclaim as well. Somehow, I've managed to live the last 5 years of my existence without hearing any of their music. I'd heard of them, of course, but had never gotten around to actually listening to any of their music.
Luckily for me, as a reviewer, I was required to listen to their latest release, In Shallow Seas We Sail. As I said, this was my introduction to the band, so I can't speak to comparisons to previous material, but if this album is indicative of the quality of that work, I'll be checking out those releases in the near future.
I'm not normally a fan of bands that incorporate screaming into their vocals, so I was initially a little turned off when the opening track, "Cutthroat Collapse," begins with some guttural proclamations. Very quickly, though, the vocals turn a different direction, combining catchy complimentary melodies with sugary-sweet harmonies amidst the screams. In fact, the screams almost serve to highlight what great voices these guys have. I thoroughly enjoyed the 2-voice multiple melodies being sung at the same time throughout many of the songs, which often then transitioned to harmonies.
These vocals are layered atop driving baselines and incredible guitar riffs within the intricately crafted rock songs. The writing here is extremely solid, both musically and lyrically, delving into multiple themes: broken relationships ("Curbside Goodbye," "Piggy Bank Lies"), fighting against temptation to sin ("A Sin To Hold On To," which also includes the best harmonies on the album), and death ("Dear Death" parts 1 and 2). "Dear Death Part 2" particularly hit me lyrically, especially these lines:
Oh, God, are you listening now?
As this cancer dances through her, and then takes a bow.
It won't disappoint the crowd, whose word is a curse, as I hear them one-by-one.
Please pull the string, and I come undone.
The music throughout creates the perfect backdrop to deliver the emotionally-charged vocals, which again, are the highlight of the album for me.
The music is charged with energy, but it's a harnessed energy that keeps the tracks from losing control into chaos. The songs are constructed carefully, while avoiding the "over-produced" feeling that many veteran bands can suffer from at this point in their career. Maybe it's the screaming and silky vocals, but there's a polished abrasiveness to the music. Occasionally, it simultaneously pumps you up and gives you chills within the same section.
Emery has already proven they have staying power, and this album ensures they're not going anywhere anytime soon. I thoroughly enjoyed these songs, and this is definitely in the running for my favorite album of the year. They're not exactly breaking entirely new ground here in the genre, but I'm a big fan of the piece of land where they've chosen to reside."
Just buy the album
Charles | 06/03/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"you cant compare this album to another one its an emery album stop questioning its worth and go buy it, it will be money well spent and you'll feel happier the rest of your life, its proven to help ache bones, severe depression, and any level of boredom, if you pay twenty dollars for this album thats a steal.