Emeralds
Does It Look Like I'm Here?


2.5
average

Review

by Eno USER (34 Reviews)
December 27th, 2010 | 106 replies | 10,232 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Answer: It does...

3 of 8 thought this review was well written

Emeralds' brand of electronic music differs from most of their current peers, particularly due to the lack of rhythmic elements and the focus on its ambient, textural elements. Their repertoire could not accurately be described as songs, but rather as loose cathedrals of sound, abstract electronics hazily rising and falling out of the mix without any sort of musical relation or cohesion. Does It Look Like I'm Here? dates back stylistically to a particular 70s' German School of electronic music, notably led by Tangerine Dream and Cluster. Their sound relied on creating long pieces crafted by distinguishable, sparse electronic instruments. These additions were often looped and gently manipulated till they reached a point where they blurred, which in turn only strengthened the original musical input, a nearly aleatoric wall of sound. These artists' subtle touch and handle of the machines is what turned these DIY, electro-experiments into enticing music. This certain touch is something Emeralds most regrettably lack.

The setup of Emeralds has the simplicity of a garageband. Their equipment used for recording is stripped to a few simple hard-synths, some mixers, effects, and a guitar. Avoiding expensive equipment and software is used effective in achieving the warm, dreamy sounds of the groups they emulate, physically avoiding over-layering and keeping away from cold digitalization. Their instruments pave a path for their simplistic songwriting, never allowing them to produce bold epics. A fundamental flaw is the noticeable formulaic song structure; a synthetic loop introduces each track, gently juxtaposed by background atmospherics. Additional details are pounded on in a linear and concrete fashion, mixing their homemade textures with off-putting theatrics. This overtly-cinematic sound is prevalent on each track, Emeralds dedicating as much to subtlety and interplay as they do on accumulating instruments. As a different loop is added on, the group takes minimal effort to syncretize it with the previous instrumentation, resulting in massive reverberations that drift instead of blossoming. At its strongest, Does It Look LIke I'm Here? succeeds with tracks such as "The Cycle of Abuse" and "Goes By", accomplishing little but working as soothing ambient tracks. The title track and "Genetic" show Emeralds formula applied in its worst format, creating quasi-shoegaze soundscapes out of sounds that are disjointed and cheap.

Emeralds most recent isn't an offensive record; with low volume and little attention, it's delicate mood music. However to treat it as an album leaves the listener in confusion with overblown blurs and textural nonsense. In ambient music, it's vital that it's both pleasantly ignorable and yet has a depth that reveals itself with dedicated listens; with Does It Look Like I'm Here?, Emeralds learn that without the latter, it falls apart.



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user ratings (71)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Enotron
December 27th 2010



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

first time I've written a negative review in a while, been meaning to write this for a while though

feedback, point out typos, etc.

conradtao
Emeritus
December 27th 2010



2088 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

whaaaaaaaat

at first I was disappointed because I wanted to write a review for this but then I was like "that's fine eno is great" but then I saw your score and I went whaaaaat

Great review as usual man, but I might do a positive writeup as counterpoint because god damn I love this.

Enotron
December 27th 2010



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah feel free to

i dunno man I feel like I could've digged this, but i found some moments near too abrasive, while the rest seemed too obvious.

conradtao
Emeritus
December 27th 2010



2088 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"Emeralds' most recent isn't an offensive record; with low volume and little attention, it's delicate mood music. However to treat it as an album leaves the listener in confusion, overblown blurs, and textural nonsense."

Added a couple of commas and an apostrophe :3

Enotron
December 28th 2010



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

meant to write "with" before overblown blurs

conradtao
Emeritus
December 28th 2010



2088 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ahhhhh makes sense

Xenophanes
Emeritus
December 28th 2010



10584 Comments


2.5 isn't really negative per se, as average is kind of a middle ground between good and bad. Either way, review is up to your usual standard. Pos.

Digging: United Nations - The Next Four Years

Enotron
December 28th 2010



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Based on how I rate things, it's negative. Albums that are 2.5's for me generally have some merit or some mild degree of enjoyability, but are either just not good at concept or poorly executed.

thanks tho

musicConsumer
December 28th 2010



494 Comments


I'd pos this if i could

klap
Staff Reviewer
December 28th 2010



10239 Comments


GLAD SOMEONE REVIEWED THIS

Digging: The Bilinda Butchers - Heaven

Irving
Staff Reviewer
December 28th 2010



7134 Comments


Excellent review Enotron. Have a pos.

Looking forward to your 30th review.

Bulldog
December 28th 2010



3796 Comments


Avoiding expensive equipment and software is used effective in achieving the warm, dreamy sounds of the groups they emulate, physically avoiding over-layering and keeping away from cold digitalization.


'Effective' should be changed to 'effectively'. Also, in my opinion, you should replace 'keeping away' with abstaining. Just a personal thing. But, good review, Eno. Pos'd

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
December 28th 2010



30859 Comments


Heard this wasn't so shit hot

Digging: Calyx and Teebee - FabricLive.76

Romulus
December 28th 2010



8410 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

enoooo this was gonna be my comeback review. it's all good though. album is pretty solid but nothing special. review is good per usual.

Enotron
December 28th 2010



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

'Effective' should be changed to 'effectively'. Also, in my opinion, you should replace 'keeping away' with abstaining. Just a personal thing. But, good review, Eno. Pos'd


done. tho idk second one doesn't sound all that nice to me, though i still might replace it with something

@dev: It's actually gotten a pretty warm response from what i've seen, but I dunno whether you'd like this.

Enotron
December 28th 2010



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

enoooo this was gonna be my comeback review


haha odd a lot of people seemed to have that planned

Romulus
December 28th 2010



8410 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

on an unrelated note though, the album artwork is one of my favorites this year

Yotimi
December 28th 2010



6436 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like this a lot. The best way I can describe it is a less beat-driven Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts

Enotron
December 28th 2010



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

eh i'm indifferent to it. cosmogramma is prolly my favorite artwork of the year

Enotron
December 28th 2010



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

prolly up there



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