Review Summary: Getting back on track.
While my emotional attachment to Emery isn’t quite as lofty as others’, I’ve still enjoyed just about everything I’ve heard from the band. Their rather generic blend of pop-punk and post-hardcore hardly brings anything new to the table, yet it somehow manages to be thoroughly pleasing. Maybe it’s Toby Morrell’s vocals, which won’t reach nearly as high as, say, Anthony Green’s, but remain impacting and are a constant positive of the band. Even the painstakingly bad I’m Only A Man
had strong vocals. Average instrumental work throughout their career has recently favored a poppy feel, slightly for the worse. The aforementioned dud of their discography resulted in many fans completely dropping the band. Then The Smile The Face
showed up on Emery’s myspace, and many a fan rejoiced. It was quite good. Endless hype over the band’s upcoming EP ensued, as expected. While not entirely deserving of the hype due to some obnoxious moments and a couple plain average songs, While Broken Hearts Prevail
is a wonderful return to form for Emery.
While Broken Hearts Prevail
can cater to multiple emotions. I tend to prefer the more light-hearted moments on the album, singing along or bobbing up and down and the like. The Smile The Face
and Say The Things (You Want)
are both ridiculously catchy, with the former incorporating a couple bouts of screaming and tremendous vocal hooks, and the latter taking on a more traditional style for the genre (try to see how many times we can throw this catchy chorus into a 3-minute song). Ten Talents
follows by hitting on the album’s other expressive level. As good as most of these songs are, I find very little impact in them due to the lyrics and the often irritating keyboard moments. The band’s lyrics, mostly if not always pertaining to stories of overwrought teen-angst, are very simplistic, and have never really been impressive for that matter either.
“I'll say the words that you want
I though that you love me but you don't, you don't
And now its two become three
If you're hurting I can't see
And you're taking what’s left of me”
That might be acceptable for a chorus, but it’s a verse. There’s some inconsistency though, as every once in a while a few nice lines might jump out at you. The lyrics are a focal point with this album because it is primarily vocal driven; the guitar doesn’t do nearly as much as it has done in the past, and well, the keyboard parts are again irksome. I can no longer listen to Always Depends
, because the main instrumental bit is so corny and downright infuriating. Although it does benefit the EP in the long run, there are other places where the keyboard feels like an unnecessary addition. That said, Josh Head does an excellent job on Thoughtlife
. Apart from the good, the bad, and the ugly, there are a couple bits of the album that don’t strike me as anything at all, namely Edge Of The World
. It does nothing better than other songs on the album, and is fairly boring. It would be nice if the song lengths were a bit more varied as well; the one track under 3-minutes is possibly the best on the album.
All things considered, While Broken Hearts Prevail
does in fact live up to its hype, not entirely but an adequate amount. It’s pretentious without the pretension, if that makes any sense at all. It would be suitable for naïve and mature audiences, delivering a simple, overdone message in a more desirable fashion; it feels like they spent a solid amount of time recording this. It is a great album, but the vocals will remain the ultimate factor that plays in a personal decision to like or dislike the album. If you hate them, Emery simply has nothing to offer for you. If you love them, go out and buy this.
The Smile The Face
Say The Things (You Want)
/Do The Things (You Want)